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Interactional patterns of bipolar patients and their spouses

  • Dennis L. McKnight
  • Rosemery O. Nelson-Gray
  • Eugenia Gullick
Article

Abstract

This study examined the interactional patterns of eight bipolar patients (when manic and in remission) and their spouses by videotaping the couples' interactions and then quantifying those interactions using the Marital Interaction Coding system. These couples' interactions were compared to the interactions of eight happily and eight unhappily married nonbipolar psychiatric control patients and their spouses. The purposes were to determine (a) whether the interactional pattern between bipolar patients and their spouses changes or remains the same when the patient is in a manic vs. a nonmanic state and (b) how the interaction patterns of bipolar patients when manic and nonmanic compare to happily and unhappily married nonbipolar psychiatriccontrol patients. Significant differences in interactions were found between manic and nonmanic states, in addition to significant differences between these patients and the control groups. There were also expected differences between happily and unhappily married psychiatric control groups. Implications are discussed for marital therapy for manies that involves problemsolving and communication training.

Key words

bipolar affective disorder marital interactions marital therapy 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis L. McKnight
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rosemery O. Nelson-Gray
    • 3
  • Eugenia Gullick
    • 4
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro
  2. 2.Charter Hospital of Winston-SalemNorth Carolina
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of North CarolinaGreensboro
  4. 4.Salem Psychiatric AssociatesWinston-Salem

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