MARITAL AND FAMILY CLIMATE AND SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT IN BI-POLAR DEPRESSION
Research suggests that manic-depression is a unique illness which fosters distinct social and familial stresses. These stresses were hypothesized to result in the perception of specific interpersonal patterns amongst family members (patient and spouse) on dimensions of family organization. The study was also designed to describe the marital and social adjustment of manic-depressives.;The major thrust of this study was to examin the perceived organization and (the perception of) the social climate of families where one member was diagnosed as manic-depressive, and thereby elucidate the adaptation of families to manic-depressive illness. An experimental group composed of families (patient and his/her spouse) where one member has been diagnosed as manic-depressive (N = 14) was compared and contrasted to the following groups: (1) a family (patient and spouse) where one member was diagnosed as unipolar depressive (N = 13); (2) a "normal" family (marital couple) where no members have suffered from, or had been diagnosed, as medically or psychiatrically ill (N = 14).;In view of Davenport et al's (1979) work, it was hypothesized that manic-depressives would show differences on dimensions of cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, independence, achievement orientation, and organization and control. Subjects completed the Family Environment Scale (Moos, 1974), the Locke-Wallace (1959) Marital Adjustment Scale, and the Social Adjustment Scale (Weissman et al, 1975), and were interviewed about their family life and coping with effective illness. The results revealed that only on cohesion did manic-depressives display significant differences from the comparison groups, and this was in the opposite direction than was hypothesized. Moreover, on marital adjustment and social adjustment no significant differences were found to differentiate the three groups. Consequently, by and large the results showed little support for the claim that manic-depressive's adaptation differs from that of unipolar depressives and "normals". One possible explanation accounting for the absence of support for the hypotheses was that the measurement instruments that were used were insensitive and unable to ascertain more subtle attitudes and perceptions of family members (i.e. husband and wife).
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 44-09, Section: B, page: 2894.