Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 87–96 | Cite as

Marital Conflict and Health in Taiwan: A Dyadic Longitudinal Analysis

  • Bryan C. Kubricht
  • Richard B. Miller
  • Tsui-Shan Li
  • Ying-Ling Hsiao
Original Paper

Abstract

Marital conflict is predictive of physical health; however, there are few studies that demonstrate this relationship in Chinese cultures. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of marital conflict on physical health among couples in Taiwan. This study utilized dyadic data of 239 married couples from three waves of a longitudinal study on work and family issues conducted in Taiwan. This study used participant’s reports of marital conflict at time 2, depressive symptoms at time 3, and physical health at time 4. Using a time-sequential method of analysis, results indicated that marital conflict was indirectly predictive of physical health 2 years later, with depressive symptoms fully mediating this relationship for husbands and wives. There were no significant partner effects or gender differences. The findings of this study provide evidence that the quality of marital relationships is important for the physical wellbeing of couples in Chinese cultures.

Keywords

Marital conflict Physical health Depression Taiwan Longitudinal study 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Beach S. R. H., Katz, J., Kim, S., & Brody, G. H. (2003). Prospective effects of marital satisfaction on depressive symptoms in established marriages: A dyadic model. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 355–371. doi: 10.1177/0265407503020003005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bookwala, J. (2005). The role of marital quality in physical health during the mature years. Journal of Aging and Health, 17, 85–104. doi: 10.1177/089826430427279.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Burman, B., & Margolin, G. (1992). Analysis of the association between marital relationships and health problems: An interactional perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 39–63. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.39.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, F.-M., & Li, T.-S. (2007). Marital enqing: An examination of its relationship to spousal contributions, sacrifices, and family stress in Chinese marriages. The Journal of Social Psychology, 147(4), 393–412. doi: 10.3200/SOCP.147.4.393-412.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen, L. H., & Li, T.-S. (2012). Role balance and marital satisfaction in taiwanese couples: An actor-partner interdependence model approach. Social Indicators Research, 107, 187–199. doi: 10.1007/s11205-011-9836-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chmura Kraemer, H., Kiernan, M., Essex, M., & Kupfer, D. J. (2008). How and why criteria defining moderators and mediators differ between the Baron & Kenny and MacArthur approaches. Health Psychology, 27(2, Suppl), S101–S108. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2(Suppl.).S101.
  7. Fang, H., Chen, J., & Rizzo, J. A. (2009). Explaining urban-rural health disparities in China. Medical Care, 47(12), 1209–1216. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3181adcc32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hampson, S. E., Goldberg, L. R., Vogt, T. M., & Dubanoski, J. P. (2006). Forty years on: Teachers’ assessments of children’s personality traits predict self-reported health behaviors and outcomes at midlife. Health Psychology, 25(1), 57–64. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Hawkins, D. A., & Booth, A. (2005). Unhappily ever after: Effects of long-term, low-quality marriages on well-being. Social Forces, 84, 445–464. doi: 10.1353/sof.2005.0103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hsiao, Y., & Hwang, F. (2010). Marital satisfaction and depression: A longitudinal dyadic analysis. Chinese Journal of Psychology, 52(4), 377–396. doi: 10.6129/CJP.2010.5204.05.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, D. (2005). Two-wave panel analysis: Comparing statistical methods for studying the effects of transitions. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(4), 1061–1075. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00194.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jonas, B. S., & Mussolino, M. E. (2000). Symptoms of depression as a prospective risk factor for stroke. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62(4), 463–471. doi: 10.1097/00006842-200007000-00001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Cook, W. L. (2006). Dyadic data analysis. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  14. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Newton, T. L. (2001). Marriage and health: His and hers. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 472–503. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.127.4.472.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd edn.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  16. Krokoff, L. J., Gottman, J. M., & Hass, S. D. (1989). Validation of a global rapid couples interactions scoring system. Behavioral Assessment, 11, 65–79.Google Scholar
  17. Lau, Y. (2011). A longitudinal study of family conflicts, social support, and antenatal depressive symptoms among Chinese women. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 25(3), 206–219. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2010.07.009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lau, Y., & Wong, D. F. K. (2008). The role of social support in helping Chinese women with perinatal depressive symptoms cope with family conflict. JOGNN, 37, 556–571. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2008.00273.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Law, D. D., & Crane, D. R. (2000). The influence of marital and family therapy on health care utilization in a health-maintenance organization. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 26(3), 281–291. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2000.tb00298.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Law, D. D., Crane, D. R., & Berge, J. M. (2003). The influence of individual, martial, and family therapy on high utilizers of health care. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29(3), 353–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01212.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Ledermann, T., Macho, S., & Kenny, D. A. (2011). Assessing mediation in dyadic data using the actor-partner interdependence model. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 18(4), 595–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lesperance, F., Frasure-Smith, N., Juneau, M., & Theroux, P. (2000). Depression and 1 year prognosis in unstable angina. Archives of Internal Medicine, 160, 1354–1360. doi: 10.1001/archinte.160.9.1354.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Leung, W. C., Kung, F., Lam, J., et al. (2002). Domestic violence and postnatal depression in a Chinese community. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 79, 159–166. doi: 10.1016/S0020-7292(02)00236-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Little, T. D. (2013). Longitudinal structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lu, L., & Lin, Y. Y. (1998). Family roles and happiness in adulthood. Personality and Individual Differences, 25(2), 195–207. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(98)00009-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McLaughlin, K. A. (2011). The public health impact of major depression: A call for interdisciplinary prevention efforts. Prevention Science, 12, 361–371. doi: 10.1007/s11121-011-0231-8.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Meeks, T. W., Vahia, I. V., Levretsky, H., Kulharni, G., & Jeste, D. V. (2011). A tune in “a minor” can “b major”: A review of epidemiology, illness course, and public health implications of subthreshold depression in older adults. Journal of Affective Disorders, 129, 126–142. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.09.015.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, R. B., Hollist, C. S., Olsen, J., & Law, D. (2013a). Marital quality and health over 20 years: A growth curve analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75(3), 667–680. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Miller, R. B., Mason, T. M., Canlas, J. M., Wang, D., Nelson, D. A., & Hart, C. H. (2013b). Marital satisfaction and depressive symptoms in China. Journal of Family Psychology, 27(4), 677–682. doi: 10.1037/a0033333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th edn.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  31. National Center for Health Statistics (2016). Health, United States, 2015: With special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  32. O’Neil, A., Williams, E. D., Stevenson, C. E., Oldenburg, B., Berk, M., & Sanderson, K. (2012). Co-morbid cardiovascular disease and depression: Sequence of disease onset is linked to mental but not physical self-rated health. Results from a cross-sectional, population-based study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47(7), 1145–1151. doi: 10.1007/s00127-011-0421-5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Pituch, K. A., & Stapleton, L. M. (2008). The performance of methods to test upper-level mediation in the presence of nonnormal data. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 43(2), 237–267.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1(3), 385–401. doi: 10.1177/014662167700100306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Republic of China (ROC) Department of Health. (2008). Health Statistics in Taiwan, 2006. http://www.doh.gov.tw.
  36. Republic of China (ROC) Department of Health. (2011). Taiwan Public Health Report 2010. http://www.doh.gov.tw.
  37. Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of the Interior. (2011). Monthly Bulletin of Interior Statistics. http://sowf.moi.gov.tw/stat/month/elist.htm.
  38. Robles, T. F., Slatcher, R. B., Trombello, J. M., & McGinn, M. M. (2014). Marital quality and health: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(1), 140–187. doi: 10.1037/a0031859.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Sandberg, J. G., Miller, R. B., Harper, J. M., Robila, M., & Davey, A. (2009). The impact of marital conflict on health and health care utilization in older couples. Journal of Health Psychology, 14(1), 9–17. doi: 10.1177/1359105308097938.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sandberg, J. G., Yorgason, J. B., Miller, R. B., & Hill, E. J. (2012). Family-to-work spillover in Singapore: Marital distress and instability, physical and mental health, and work satisfaction. Family Relations, 61, 1–15. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2011.00682.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Shek, D. T. L. (1995). Marital quality and psychological well-being of married adults in a Chinese context. The Journal Genetic Psychology, 156, 45–56. doi: 10.1080/00221325.1995.9914805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shen, A. (2005). Factors in the marital relationship in a changing society. A Taiwan case study. International Social Work, 48(3), 325–340. doi: 10.1177/0020872805051735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Srivastava, S., McGonigal, K. M., Richards, J. M., Butler, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2006). Optimism in close relationships: How seeing things in a positive light makes them so. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(1), 143–153. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.91.1.143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Umberson, D., Williams, K., Powers, D. A., Liu, H., & Needham, B. (2006). You make me sick: Marital quality and health over the life course. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47, 1–16. doi: 10.1177/002214650604700101.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Vandenberg, R. J., & Lance, C. E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: Suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 3(1), 4–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. VanderZee, K. I., Sanderman, R., Heyink, J. W., & de Haes, H. (1996). Psychometric qualities of the RAND 36-item health survey 1.0: A multidimensional measure of general health status. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 3, 104–122. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm0302_2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Veroff, J., Douvan, E., & Hatchett, S. (1993). Marital interaction and marital quality in the first year of marriage. In W. Jones & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  48. Wang, X. (2001). Systematic investigation on the differences of interpersonal relationships between countries and towns. Journal of Systemic Dialectics, 9, 73–77. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1005-6408.2001.03.018.Google Scholar
  49. Whisman, M. A. (2007). Marital distress and DSM-IV psychiatric disorders in a population based national survey. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116, 638–643. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.116.3.638.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Whisman, M. A., & Baucom, D. H. (2012). Intimate relationships and psychopathology. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 15(1), 4–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Whisman, M. A., & Uebelacker, L. A. (2006). Impairment and distress associated with relationship discord in a national sample of married and cohabiting adults. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 369–377. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.3.369.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Whisman, M. A., & Uebelacker, L. A. (2009). Prospective association between marital discord and depressive symptoms in middle-aged and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 24, 184–189. doi: 10.1037/a0014759.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Wickrama, K. A. S., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (1997). Marital quality and physical illness: A latent growth curve analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59, 143–155. doi: 10.2307/353668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wolf, A. P., & Gates, H. (1998). Modeling Chinese marriage regimes. Journal of Family History, 23(1), 90–99. doi: 10.1177/036319909802300105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wood, N. D., Crane, D. R., Schaalje, G. B., & Law, D. D. (2005). What works for whom: A meta-analytic review of marital and couples therapy in reference to marital distress. American Journal of Family Therapy, 33(4), 273–287. doi: 10.1080/01926180590962147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xie, Y., Zeng, C., & Shi, K. (2007). The effects of work-family conflict on telecom employees’ job burnout and general health. Psychological Science (China), 30(4), 940–943. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1671-6981.2007.04.042.Google Scholar
  57. Zhang, H., Chang, K., Zhang, F., Greenberger, E., & Chen, C. (2011). Mental health problems and coping styles of urban and rural high school students in China. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(8), 1019–1030. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan C. Kubricht
    • 1
  • Richard B. Miller
    • 1
  • Tsui-Shan Li
    • 2
  • Ying-Ling Hsiao
    • 2
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Fu-Jen Catholic UniversityTaipei CountyTaiwan, ROC

Personalised recommendations