Perception of ill spouse and dyadic relationship in couples with affective disorder and those without

Vechiel Levkovitz*, Shmuel Fennig, Neta Horesh, Vuri Barak, Ilan Treves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study compares the perception of spouses and the quality of the dyadic relationship of patients with severe affective disorders in remission with healthy couples. Method: The sample included spouses of patients between the ages of 20 and 65 who had been hospitalized with severe affective illness and who were currently in remission (depressive, n=23; bipolar, n=11) and a control group matched by socioeconomic status. Both groups completed three instruments measuring the quality of the dyadic relationship, attributed characteristics of the spouse and non-formal social support. Results: The spouses of patients, as compared to spouses of controls, scored lower on consensus, unity and expressions of affection in their marital relationship, ranked their ill spouses lower on the positive qualities and higher on the negative qualities and reported receiving less emotional and practical support. Limitations: The limitations of the study are the small sample size and cross sectional design. Conclusions: The results suggest that severe affective disorders are associated with marital dysfunction, even during periods of symptom remission. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective disorders
  • Dyadic relationship
  • Marital support
  • Spouse


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