Economic Hardship, Parents’ Depression, and Relationship Distress among Couples With Young Children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using data from the FFCW (n = 1,492 couples), the authors assessed stress, health selection, and couple-crossover hypotheses by examining (1) the bidirectional association between economic hardship and depressive symptoms one, three, and five years after the birth of a child; (2) the association between economic hardship and depression on relationship distress for both parents; and (3) whether the associations vary by marital status. The results suggest a pernicious cycle for mothers after the birth of a child. Economic hardship increases depression, but maternal depression also increases economic hardship. These reinforcing mechanisms increase both mothers’ and fathers’ relationship distress. Taken together, policies aimed at strengthening couples’ relationships should work in tandem with economic and mental health policies to reach optimal outcomes for couples with young children. Effect patterns were generally consistent between married and cohabiting couples, with some variation in levels of statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalSociety and Mental Health
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • depression
  • dyads
  • economic hardship
  • relationship distress
  • stress process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Economic Hardship, Parents’ Depression, and Relationship Distress among Couples With Young Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this