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Relationship Dynamics: Understanding Married Women's Mental Health

Steelman, Jean R. PhD, APRN, BC

doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000271105.42043.65

Because married women are at increased risk for depression, it is important to identify factors that explain women's experience of mental health. Bowen Theory was used to examine differentiation of self and relationship factors, such as need fulfillment, as predictors of married woman's psychologic well-being. Multiple regression demonstrated that a significant proportion of women's well-being was attributable to interdependence in the marriage and the perception that interactional, emotional, and sexual needs were being met. Clinicians can support positive mental health outcomes through early identification of women who may be at risk for psychologic distress and referral for individual or marital counseling.

Nursing Department, College Misericordia, Dallas, Pa, and Saxon Psychiatric Services, Kingston, Pa.

Corresponding author: Jean R. Steelman, PhD, College Misericordia, Nursing Department, 301 Lake St, Dallas, PA 18612 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.