Date of Award


Access Restriction


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Counseling Psychology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


Interpersonal theories of depression suggest that behaviors of an individual, and others in the environment, serve to elicit and/or maintain depressive symptomatology. The present study examined the association between depressive symptomatology and social support behaviors in marriage. It was hypothesized that as depressive symptomatology increased, there would be a decrease in positive social support behaviors and an increase in negative support behaviors. Participants were 172 newlywed couples recruited through public records. Couples completed questionnaires assessing depressive symptomatology and marital satisfaction and participated in 2 social support interactions which were coded using a microanalytic coding system. Results indicated that as depressive symptomatology increases, helpers and helpees give more negative and less positive responses. When effects of marital satisfaction are extracted, depressive symptoms do not predict behavior. Further examination revealed that depressive symptomatology and marital satisfaction together are predictive of · behavior, while neither variable alone gives significant information. Future research clarifying the relationship between marital distress, depression, and social support is recommended.