Marital satisfaction and mental health of couples with children with chronic health conditions

Jerica M Berge, Joän M. Patterson, Martha A Rueter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many studies report that couples with children who have chronic health conditions have more marital dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms than other parents. However, much of the research is cross-sectional and uses maternal reports. This study addresses prior limitations in the research by using longitudinal data from both parents. Couples who are parents to 173 children with chronic conditions were studied. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used with a longitudinal data set. Results indicated that relative decreases in mothers' marital satisfaction were influenced by their perceptions of the impact of their child's condition. Also, the severity of the condition influenced relative decreases in mothers' marital satisfaction and relative increases in depressive symptoms. For fathers, only their previous self-reports of depressive symptoms and marital satisfaction influenced relative increases in depressive symptoms and relative decreases in marital satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-285
Number of pages19
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Keywords

  • Chronically ill children
  • Couples' adjustment to child chronic illness
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Mental health
  • Parents' perceptions of child chronic illness

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