Marital Distress

  • Steven L. Sayers
  • Donald H. Baucom
  • Lynn Rankin
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)

Abstract

Most clinicians have contact with individuals or couples who are experiencing marital conflict. Indeed, marital distress is quite common. At least half of all first marriages and half of all remarriages eventually fail (Glick, 1984, 1989a,b). Twenty percent of married couples at any particular time are likely to be distressed (Beach, Arias, & O’Leary, 1987a). Often marital issues must be addressed because of the interrelationship between marital problems and the psychological functioning of the individual. In some couples, marital conflict may precipitate or exacerbate the psychiatric symptoms of one of the spouses; in other couples, an existing psychiatric disorder may lead to the disruption of the marital relationship. Given these circumstances, it is encouraging that, since the late 1960s, an increasing number of investigations have shown behavioral marital therapy to be an effective treatment for marital distress (Baucom & Hoffman, 1986). Additionally, marital therapy shows promise in the treatment of concomitant psychiatric disorders such as depression. Before we elucidate these developments, it is necessary to describe marital distress from a behavioral perspective.

Keywords

Depression Lithium Beach Haas Antabuse 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven L. Sayers
    • 1
  • Donald H. Baucom
    • 2
  • Lynn Rankin
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical College of Pennsylvania at EPPIPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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