, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 183-198
Date: 14 Aug 2008

A Test of Contextual Theory: The Relationship Among Relational Ethics, Marital Satisfaction, Health Problems, and Depression

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Few studies have examined the theoretical underpinning of contextual theory. Using structural equation modeling, the relationship among relational ethics (recognized as the most important aspect of contextual theory), marital satisfaction, depression, and illness was examined. Data came from a national sample of 632 mid-life, married individuals. Results supported Nagy’s contextual theory. The total score of the Relational Ethics Scale was a significant predictor of marital satisfaction, and marital satisfaction was significantly associated with depression and health problems. Vertical and horizontal subscales of relational ethics also were significant predictors of depression and health problems through the mediating variable of marital satisfaction.