Low intimacy as a mediator between depression and clinic couple relationship satisfactionedit
This study examined low intimacy as a mediator between partners’ depression symptoms and low relationship satisfaction in a sample of 82 heterosexual couples who sought therapy at an outpatient clinic. Both the amount of intimate behavior that partners enact and the level of pleasure they experience from each other’s intimate acts were assessed. Using an actor–partner interdependence model approach, path model analysis simultaneously included both partners’ scores on measures of depression, intimate behavior, pleasure from partner’s intimate behavior, and relationship satisfaction. Overall, female depression symptoms had a greater impact than male depression symptoms on the couple relationship. Male depression had little effect on intimacy, whereas the female partner’s depression affected her pleasure from the male’s intimate behavior and both partners’ enactment of intimate behavior. The results indicate the importance of examining reciprocal influences between partners’ functioning to understand and treat intimacy problems.