Relationships and Well-being | Noba
Attachment, Relationship-Contingent Self-Esteem, Conflict Behaviors,. & Relationship .. for his unending support and patience throughout this research project. romantic relationships; relationship satisfaction . likely to endorse suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and depression, and attempt suicide (Stack,. ; Wyder. Keywords: Marital satisfaction • Spousal support • Emotional expression. * This paper is the increase of marital conflicts. Cutrona partner support causes depression. Khan and .. and relationship satisfaction in a romantic partner. The. Having satisfying long-term romantic relationships has been identified as one of couple conflict, and a decline in couple relationship satisfaction after the birth of the a history of depression, and a low level of partner support are the strongest . Two years postpartum, couple relationship satisfaction was measured using.
Having a good relationship is associated with a range of positive personal outcomes, including better health and well-being, whereas relationship discord is associated with greater risk of psychopathology Whisman, The couple relationship is of particular importance in the transition to parenthood and in the early childhood years because it is related to the well-being and mental health of partners, children, and the family Redshaw and Martin, However, the transition to parenthood is associated with many psychological, social, and biological changes for women and their partners that may compromise relationship satisfaction Horsch and Ayers, Parents can feel overwhelmed by these changes and feel unable to cope with the new demands and responsibilities.
Thus, many parents experience parenting stress. As a result, many couples may perceive a mismatch between their expectations and the realities of care in the postpartum period, combined with a lack of sleep and less opportunities to spend time together Mitnick et al.
In accordance with this notion, studies have shown a reduction in positive interactions, an increase in couple conflict, and a decline in couple relationship satisfaction after the birth of the first child Doss et al.
Such experiences may have a long lasting impact on couple relationships, particularly if the birth and circumstances related to the birth are experienced as traumatic by the woman. As a consequence, women giving birth can develop posttraumatic stress disorder PTSDwhich is characterized by re-experiencing, avoidance, numbing, and hyperarousal symptoms as well as negative cognitions and mood American Psychiatric Association, The somewhat varying prevalence rates possibly reflect different culturally dependent social norms and expectations about childbirth.
However, they may also reflect the differences in the provision of maternity care Halperin et al. A recent meta-analysis identified various risk factors for PTSD following childbirth: It also confirmed a strong co-morbidity with postpartum depression Ayers et al. Moreover, approximately one in seven mothers may develop postpartum depression within the first 12 months following childbirth, characterized by feelings of low mood, loss of interest in usual activities, feelings of worthlessness, and loss of energy Wisner et al.
In developing countries, where mental health may be associated with even greater stigma and is often not covered by health insurance programs, postpartum depression is frequently not detected and appropriate treatment not offered Sawyer et al.
Antenatal depression and anxiety, a history of depression, and a low level of partner support are the strongest independent predictors of postpartum depression Milgrom et al. Focusing specifically on postpartum PTSD, some qualitative studies have examined its impact on the couple relationship.
For instance, a recent systematic review and meta-synthesis of seven qualitative studies showed that childbirth-related PTSD can have a perceived negative impact on the couple relationship Delicate et al. Five themes were identified: This study found that most women characterized their relationships as negatively affected by the traumatic childbirth, resulting in long-term intimacy and sexual problems.
Those sexual problems often led to relationships being strained. Also, some women felt they were no longer worthy of the relationship Fenech and Thomson, To date, quantitative studies examining the influence of postpartum PTSD on satisfaction with the couple relationship are sparse. One study with 64 couples who completed questionnaires 9 weeks after childbirth found no cross-sectional association between PTSD symptoms and couple relationship satisfaction Ayers et al.
However, this study was limited by a low response rate, a small sized sample, and a short follow-up period 9 weeks postpartum. Therefore, well-designed large-scale longitudinal studies examining the association between postpartum PTSD symptoms and subsequent couple relationship satisfaction are needed. Moreover, given such associations are found, studies examining potential mechanisms through which PTSD symptoms may influence couple relationship satisfaction are warranted.
Postpartum depression may play a role in such potential mechanisms, as postpartum PTSD may lead to increased depressive symptoms in the woman.
Such symptoms, including lack of energy, disinterest in social life, and irritability may in turn reduce couple relationship satisfaction Zelkowitz and Milet, ; Wenzel et al.
Similarly, anxiety in the postpartum period may arise as a result of symptoms of postpartum PTSD such as intrusion and hyperarousal, thereby leading to reduced couple relationship quality McKenzie-McHarg et al. So far, research has only provided preliminary support for such potential mechanisms where maternal mental health problems mediate the association between postpartum PTSD symptoms and couple relationship satisfaction.
More specifically, by examining the effect of postpartum PTSD symptoms and depression on the couple relationship and the parent-baby bond with a convenience sample, one study found that postpartum PTSD had no direct effect on the couple relationship, but the effect of PTSD on the couple relationship was fully mediated by symptoms of postpartum depression Parfitt and Ayers, Research is needed to provide a more detailed account of how factors such as depressive symptomatology may mediate the association between PTSD symptoms and couple relationship satisfaction.
When examining the association between postpartum PTSD and couple satisfaction, potential third variables that may be related to both postpartum PTSD and couple satisfaction have to be taken into account. For example, couple relationship satisfaction is associated with maternal sociodemographic factors, such as age Hershkowitz et al. Regarding infant factors, temperament is related to maternal sensitivity and parenting, both of which are related to the couple relationship Lee, A difficult infant temperament has also been shown to be related to maternal PTSD symptoms after birth Garthus-Niegel et al.
Thus, the present study includes maternal age, educational background, negative life events, and infant temperament as covariates in the analyses to control for the potential confounding effects of these variables. An international group of researchers and clinicians from the UK and other European countries stated the need for quantitative research using prospective studies with large, representative samples to investigate the possible negative impact of postpartum PTSD on relationships McKenzie-McHarg et al.
Therefore, this study that draws on data examining various risk factors and consequences of postpartum PTSD Garthus-Niegel et al. In particular, we aimed to test the following hypotheses: We hypothesized that postpartum PTSD will be prospectively associated with low couple relationship satisfaction, even when taking into account a variety of potential confounding variables.
We hypothesized that the effect of postpartum PTSD symptoms on couple relationship satisfaction will be mediated by postpartum depression symptoms.
Recruitment took place from November to April Women were recruited for the study during their routine fetal ultrasound examination, which is performed at 17 weeks gestation, and were asked to complete questionnaires at 17 weeks gestation, 32 weeks gestation, 8 weeks postpartum, and 2 years postpartum.
The number of eligible women dropped somewhat during the study time because some women had moved or were withdrawn from the study due to severe birth complications. Detailed information regarding participation and drop out in the study has been published elsewhere Garthus-Niegel et al.
Data from the birth record were electronically recorded by hospital staff, including socio-demographic and medical information about the woman, the delivery, and the child. The Akershus Birth Cohort study obtained ethical approval from the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics approval number Saand all participants provided written informed consent.
The RS10 scale has good psychometric properties, high structural and predictive validity, and correlates 0. The sum score ranges from 10 to 40 and higher scores reflect a larger degree of couple relationship satisfaction.
The instrument is a self-rating scale that measures symptoms of intrusion seven items and avoidance eight items. The scale has four response categories with the following weightings: Sum scores of the overall scale were computed range 0—75where higher scores reflect a higher degree of post-traumatic stress.
Participants were instructed to complete the scale in relation to their childbirth. The IES has been previously validated in postpartum women Olde et al. The EPDS is a item self-rating scale designed to identify postnatal depression. However, it is comprized of distinct and correlated depression and anxiety subscales Ross et al.
The scale has four response categories ranging from 0 to 3; thus, the total scores can range from 0 to Further, age at delivery and maternal education were obtained from the hospital birth records.
According to Norwegian definitions Haland and Glad,employment was defined as: Regarding PTSD symptoms prior to birth, the women in our study reported at pregnancy week 17 whether at any time in their life they had been involved in or had experienced a dramatic or terrifying event.
If this was the case, they reported whether they had suffered from eight potential symptoms related to that event during the last month. The symptoms were based on questions included in the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, which is designed for epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
We measured symptoms as follows: This resulted in a symptom score ranging from 0 no symptoms to 8 maximum number of symptoms. Adverse life events during the last 12 months were measured at pregnancy week 32 by seven selected items from existing life event scales Coddington, ; Swearingen and Cohen, The following life events were included: This scale assesses infant difficultness as perceived by the primary caregiver. A robust weighted least squares estimator WLSMV was employed because some of the items included in the analyses i.
First, we conducted a confirmatory factor analysis of the RS10 Scale, constructing a latent factor for couple relationship satisfaction. Likewise, a latent factor for postpartum PTSD was modeled by means of confirmatory factor analysis. Further, for the EPDS a second order confirmatory factor analysis was conducted, as the EPDS has been shown to have a bi-dimensional factor structure with a depression and an anxiety component Ross et al.
In addition, an overall EPDS factor was constructed, based on the two lower order latent factors. As conducting confirmatory factor analyses for all scales would have led to an excessively complex model, we chose to construct latent variables only for the most important psychological variables, i.
The remaining background variables were treated as manifest variables. Correlation analyses were conducted to study the bivariate associations among all included variables. Further, all latent and manifest variables that were significantly related to couple relationship satisfaction were entered into a multivariate mediation model. Finally, in order to differentiate the distinct relationship of the depression and the anxiety component of the EPDS, we also estimated a multivariate mediation model with those two components separately, each being represented by their own latent factor.
We conducted mediation analyses to test whether or not the indirect effects involving the putative mediators were statistically significant Hayes, More specifically, standard errors of the mediation effects were estimated by the product of coefficients approach in a path analytic framework Hayes, Although it is a work of fiction, Robinson Crusoe contains themes we can all relate to.
One of these is the idea of loneliness. Humans are social animals and we prefer living together in groups. We cluster in families, in cities, and in groups of friends.
In fact, most people spend relatively few of their waking hours alone. Even introverts report feeling happier when they are with others! Yes, being surrounded by people and feeling connected to others appears to be a natural impulse. In this module we will discuss relationships in the context of well-being.
We will begin by defining well-being and then presenting research about different types of relationships. We will explore how both the quantity and quality of our relationships affect us, as well as take a look at a few popular conceptions or misconceptions about relationships and happiness. The Importance of Relationships If you were to reflect on the best moments of your life, chances are they involved other people. We feel good sharing our experiences with others, and our desire for high quality relationships may be connected to a deep-seated psychological impulse: Aristotle commented that humans are fundamentally social in nature.
Modern society is full of evidence that Aristotle was right. People join book clubs to make a solitary activity—reading—into a social activity. Prisons often punish offenders by putting them in solitary confinement, depriving them of the company of others.
Perhaps the most obvious expression of the need to belong in contemporary life is the prevalence of social media. We live in an era when, for the first time in history, people effectively have two overlapping sets of social relationships: It may seem intuitive that our strong urge to connect with others has to do with the boost we receive to our own well-being from relationships.
After all, we derive considerable meaning from our relational bonds—as seen in the joy a newborn brings to its parents, the happiness of a wedding, and the good feelings of having reliable, supportive friendships. Indeed, scholars have long considered social relationships to be fundamental to happiness and well-being Argyle, ; Myers, If the people in our lives are as important to our happiness as the research suggests, it only makes sense to investigate how relationships affect us.
The Question of Measurement Despite the intuitive appeal of the idea that good relationships translate to more happiness, researchers must collect and analyze data to arrive at reliable conclusions. This is particularly difficult with the concepts of relationships and happiness, because both can be difficult to define. What counts as a relationship?
Emotional support, conflict, depression, and relationship satisfaction in a romantic partner.
Similarly, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what qualifies as happiness. It is vital to define these terms, because their definitions serve as the guidelines by which they can be measured, a process called operationalization. There are both objective and subjective ways to measure social relationships.
Objective social variables are factors that are based on evidence rather than opinions. They focus on the presence and frequency of different types of relationships, and the degree of contact and amount of shared activities between people. Each of these variables is factually based e. The strength of objective measures is that they generally have a single correct answer.
For example, a person is either married or not; there is no in-between. Subjective social variablesas the name suggests, are those that focus on the subjective qualities of social relationships.
Relationships and Well-being
These are the products of personal opinions and feelings rather than facts. A key subjective variable is social support —the extent to which individuals feel cared for, can receive help from others, and are part of a supportive network.
Other subjective social variables assess the nature and quality of social relationships themselves—that is, what types of relationships people have, and whether these social relationships are good or bad. These can include measures that ask about the quality of a marriage e. Objective and subjective measures are often administered in a way that asks individuals to make a global assessment of their relationships i. Many researchers try to include multiple types of measurement—objective, subjective, and daily diaries—to overcome the weaknesses associated with any one measurement technique.
Just as researchers must consider how to best measure relationships, they must also face the issue of measuring well-being. Well-being is a topic many people have an opinion about. Some folks define happiness as a sense of peace, while others think of it as being healthy. Some people equate happiness with a sense of purpose, while others think of it as just another word for joy. Modern researchers have wrestled with this topic for decades.
They acknowledge that both psychological and physical approaches are relevant to defining well-being, and that many dimensions—satisfaction, joy, meaning—are all important. One prominent psychological dimension of well-being is happiness. In psychology, the scientific term for happiness is subjective well-beingwhich is defined by three different components: These components are commonly measured using subjective self-report scales.
Health is a broad concept and includes, at least in part, being free of illness or infirmity. There are several aspects of physical health that researchers commonly consider when thinking about well-being and relationships. For example, health can be defined in terms of A injury, B disease, and C mortality. Finally, there are health behaviors to be considered, such as dietary consumption, exercise, and smoking.
Researchers often examine a variety of health variables in order to better understand the possible benefits of good relationships. Presence and Quality of Relationships and Well-Being If you wanted to investigate the connection between social relationships and well-being, where would you start? Would you focus on teenagers? Would you interview religious people who have taken a vow of silence?
These are the types of considerations well-being researchers face. It is impossible for a single study to look at all types of relationships across all age groups and cultures. Instead, researchers narrow their focus to specific variables. They tend to consider two major elements: Presence of relationships The first consideration when trying to understand how relationships influence well-being is the presence of relationships.
Simply put, researchers need to know whether or not people have relationships. Do they have many friends? Are they a member of a club? The researchers were curious to see what differentiated these two groups. The answer turned out to be relationships!
The happiest students were much more satisfied with their relationships, including with close friends, family, and romantic partnerships, than the unhappiest.