Perceived criticism by partner (PC) has been demonstrated to be a powerful predictor of depressive relapse. The purpose of this prospective 11-month study was to replicate this finding in an outpatient series of married women in Korea, but also to further explore the nature of PC in terms of qualities of the marital relationship and dysfunctional attitudes. The subjects consisted of 27 married female outpatients who had all been treated for major depression, but were in recovery at time of first contact or shortly after. All were interviewed at time 1 and then again after 11 months at time 2 to ascertain major depressive episode using the Korean version of SADS as well as completing the BDI. At first contact, questionnaire and interview assessments were used for marital quality and dysfunctional attitudes denoting dependency. There was a significant relationship between the single-item PC and depressive relapse at follow-up as predicted. This relationship was not enhanced by using the expanded item scale. PC and/ or PC-E were significantly correlated with marital quality variables, specifically lack of emotional support from partner, negative interaction and dependence on partner. The study shows that perceived criticism by spouse is a predictor of depressive relapse in Korean outpatients and that this appears to reflect actual negative characteristics of the marital relationship as well as the depressed person's high dependence on the relationship. These results support the importance of improving marital interactions in preventing relapse in depression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology