Marital dissatisfaction and incidence of major depressive episode in a community sample
The association between marital dissatisfaction at baseline and 12-month incidence of major depressive episode (MDE) was examined in a community sample of married individuals from the New Haven Epidemiologic Catchment Area program (N = 904) who did not meet criteria for MDE at baseline. Results indicate that marital dissatisfaction was associated with increased incidence of MDE, with a significant risk ratio of 2.7 and an attributable risk of 29.5%. Thus, dissatisfied spouses were nearly 3 times more likely than nondissatisfied spouses to develop an MDE during the year, and nearly 30% of the new occurrences of MDE were associated with marital dissatisfaction. The association between marital dissatisfaction and risk of MDE (a) remained significant when controlling for demographics and depression history and (b) was not moderated by sex or by depression history. Findings suggest that marital dissatisfaction may be etiologically related to major depression.