The Association between Psychopathological Symptoms and Relationship Satisfaction: Direct Effect and Mediation through Partner Cognitions
Cunningham, Janey E
Epstein, Norman B.
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Previous research has identified links between psychopathological symptoms and levels of satisfaction within couple relationships. Findings have shown associations between low levels of relationship satisfaction and depressive and neurotic symptoms. However, the process or mechanism through which an individual's psychopathology and the couple's relationship problems are linked has yet to be determined. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which psychopathological symptoms are directly related to the level of relationship satisfaction for each partner in the relationship. It also explored the degree to which the relation between psychopathology and relationship distress is mediated by partners' cognitions about each other that are associate with relationship conflict. The study involved secondary analysis of a sample of 83 couples. Findings did not support current literature that psychopathological symptoms directly affect relationship satisfaction. Gender differences were found in the association between psychopathological symptoms and cognitions.