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Attribution and Interpersonal Control Strategies in Couples Including One Depressed Individual

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Abstract:

This investigation explores the ways partners in relationship with a depressed individual interpret the depressive behavior and how this interpretation is related to their types of attempts to control depression and to relationship satisfaction and cohesiveness. Within the context of Inconsistent Nurturing as Control theory (Le Poire, 1994) and attribution for control within the relationship (internal or external), the current investigation describes the paradoxical nature of the power structure in the romantic relationship with a depressed individual, and how the power structure limits the types of control strategies the non-depressed partner can use. Couples including one depressed individual (N=148 individuals) are interviewed and compared to a control group of non-depressed couples (N =68 individuals). Results indicate that individuals with higher external attribution for control feel their partnerís behavior is unpredictable and not influenced by what they say or use fewer strategies to curtail depression and instead use more strategies that reinforce depression and punish alternative behavior. In couples including one depressed individual, poorer mental health and internal attribution for control is associated with more cohesiveness but less relational satisfaction. Greater mental health and external attribution in couples including one depressed individual predicts less cohesiveness but more relational satisfaction. This pattern does not hold for control group couples, who reported more cohesiveness and relational satisfaction as they reported more internal attribution for control; control group couples reported less cohesiveness and relational satisfaction as they reported more external attribution for control. Implications for control dynamics and communication strategies are discussed.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

depress (255), individu (193), partner (162), control (140), relationship (135), behavior (134), p (120), non (113), report (111), attribut (95), satisfact (89), communic (86), r (81), cohes (81), negat (73), strategi (70), intern (70), coupl (67), extern (67), posit (62), reinforc (60),

Author's Keywords:

interpersonal control, attribution, depression, nurturing
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MLA Citation:

Duggan, Ashley. "Attribution and Interpersonal Control Strategies in Couples Including One Depressed Individual" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY, <Not Available>. 2009-05-25 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p13990_index.html>

APA Citation:

Duggan, A. P. "Attribution and Interpersonal Control Strategies in Couples Including One Depressed Individual" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY Online <PDF>. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p13990_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This investigation explores the ways partners in relationship with a depressed individual interpret the depressive behavior and how this interpretation is related to their types of attempts to control depression and to relationship satisfaction and cohesiveness. Within the context of Inconsistent Nurturing as Control theory (Le Poire, 1994) and attribution for control within the relationship (internal or external), the current investigation describes the paradoxical nature of the power structure in the romantic relationship with a depressed individual, and how the power structure limits the types of control strategies the non-depressed partner can use. Couples including one depressed individual (N=148 individuals) are interviewed and compared to a control group of non-depressed couples (N =68 individuals). Results indicate that individuals with higher external attribution for control feel their partnerís behavior is unpredictable and not influenced by what they say or use fewer strategies to curtail depression and instead use more strategies that reinforce depression and punish alternative behavior. In couples including one depressed individual, poorer mental health and internal attribution for control is associated with more cohesiveness but less relational satisfaction. Greater mental health and external attribution in couples including one depressed individual predicts less cohesiveness but more relational satisfaction. This pattern does not hold for control group couples, who reported more cohesiveness and relational satisfaction as they reported more internal attribution for control; control group couples reported less cohesiveness and relational satisfaction as they reported more external attribution for control. Implications for control dynamics and communication strategies are discussed.

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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 44
Word count: 13775
Text sample:
Depression and Communication 1 RUNNING HEAD: Depression INC Theory and Attribution Attribution and Interpersonal Control Strategies in Couples Including One Depressed Individual Author info withheld for anonymity. Gratitude withheld for anonymity. This article is submitted for presentation to the Interpersonal Communication Division at the 2005 ICA conference in New York. Interpersonal Communication in Applied Settings Submission Depression and Communication 2 Abstract This investigation explores the ways partners in relationship with a depressed individual interpret the depressive behavior and how
external depressed depressed non depressed non depressed Cohesion r = .53 R = -.51 r = .38 r = -.55 depressed p = .000 p = .000 p = .001 p = .000 Satisfaction r = -.56 R = .61 r = -.35 r = .47 depressed p = .000 p = .000 p = .003 p = .000 Cohesion r = .23 R = -.31 r = .40 r = -.59 non depressed p = .057 p =


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