Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 183–198 | Cite as

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

  • Heath A. GramesEmail author
  • Richard B. Miller
  • W. David Robinson
  • Derrel J. Higgins
  • W. Jeff Hinton
Original Paper


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.


Contextual theory Relational ethics Marital satisfaction Depression Health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heath A. Grames
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard B. Miller
    • 2
  • W. David Robinson
    • 3
  • Derrel J. Higgins
    • 4
  • W. Jeff Hinton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy ProgramUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Nebraska Medical CenterOmahaUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyMesa Community CollegeMesaUSA

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