Stress Generation in Marital Interactions Among Currently Depressed, Past Depressed, and Never Depressed Spouses

Master's Thesis


The stress-generation model of depression (Hammen, 1991) posits that people with current or past depression behave in ways that generate more frequent negative stressful life events, and that this, in turn, leads to the maintenance or recurrence of depression. This model has been well-supported, but investigations have primarily focused on associations between global traits and later stress. This study employs sequential analysis of utterance-by-utterance coded marital interactions for evidence of specific behaviors contributing to interpersonal stress generation. Results indicated that negative comments about the spouse and positive comments about the self elicit criticism, whereas negative self-comments, positive-spouse comments, and positive-situation comments elicit support. Contrary to hypotheses, partners with a history of depression did not engage in more criticism-eliciting behaviors than never-depressed partners; however, they did engage in more support-eliciting behaviors (when controlling for dyadic adjustment) even though their spouses did not provide more support, which supports the excessive-reassurance seeking model.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-10242013-142229

Author Kelsey Blomeke
Advisor David A. Smith
Contributor Scott M. Monroe, Committee Member
Contributor David A. Smith, Committee Chair
Contributor Lee Anna Clark, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2013-09-26

Submission Date 2013-10-24
  • United States of America

  • couples

  • depression

  • stress generation

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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