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Mental health problems and marital disruption: Is it the combination of husbands and wives' mental health problems that predicts later divorce?

Butterworth, Peter; Rodgers, Bryan

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Background: Divorce has been established as an adverse social consequence of mental illness. There is, however, little research that has considered how the mental health of both spouses may interact to predict relationship disruption. The aim of the current study was to use data from a large population-based survey to examine whether the combination of spouses' mental health problems predicts subsequent marital dissolution. Methods: Prospective analysis of data from a longitudinal national...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorButterworth, Peter
dc.contributor.authorRodgers, Bryan
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T22:32:44Z
dc.identifier.issn0933-7954
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/55896
dc.description.abstractBackground: Divorce has been established as an adverse social consequence of mental illness. There is, however, little research that has considered how the mental health of both spouses may interact to predict relationship disruption. The aim of the current study was to use data from a large population-based survey to examine whether the combination of spouses' mental health problems predicts subsequent marital dissolution. Methods: Prospective analysis of data from a longitudinal national household survey. 3,230 couples were tracked over 36 months, with logistic regression models used to determine whether the mental health problems of both spouses at wave 1 (determined by the SF36 mental health subscale) predicted subsequent relationship dissolution. Results: Couples in which either men or women reported mental health problems had higher rates of marital disruption than couples in which neither spouse experienced mental health problems. For couples in which both spouses reported mental health problems, rates of marital disruption reflected the additive combination of each spouse's separate risk. Importantly, these couples showed no evidence of a multiplicative effect of mental illness on rates of subsequent divorce or separation. Conclusions: The results do not support the notion that a combination of mental health problems in both spouses uniquely predicts marital dissolution. Rather, there is an additive effect of individual mental health problems on the risk of dissolution.
dc.publisherDr Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag
dc.sourceSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
dc.subjectKeywords: adolescent; adult; article; divorce; female; health survey; human; logistic regression analysis; major clinical study; male; marriage; mental disease; mental health; population research; prediction; risk assessment; Short Form 36; social psychiatry; Divor Divorce; Epidemiology; Marriage; Mental disorders; Social psychiatry
dc.titleMental health problems and marital disruption: Is it the combination of husbands and wives' mental health problems that predicts later divorce?
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume43
dc.date.issued2008
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.ariespublicationu9406909xPUB343
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationButterworth, Peter, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationRodgers, Bryan, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage758
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage763
local.identifier.doi10.1007/s00127-008-0366-5
dc.date.updated2015-12-09T10:18:48Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-50849135468
local.identifier.thomsonID000259364000011
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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