This study tested the hypothesis that symptoms of depression are negatively related to relational quality, which in turn is negatively related to feelings of loneliness among members of dating couples. Potential sex differences in the magnitude of association between depressive symptoms and relational quality, and potential emotional contagion of depressive symptoms within dyads, were also explored. One hundred and one dating couples completed the Oral History Interview along with other measures of relational quality, depressive symptoms, and loneliness. Results for both males and females indicated that depressive symptoms were negatively associated with relational quality and that relational quality was negatively associated with loneliness. The association between symptoms of depression and poor relational quality was similar for females and males. There was no evidence suggestive of emotional contagion in these dating couples. Implications of these findings and their potential limitations are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies