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Partner support in depression

Harris, Thomas JR; (2002) Partner support in depression. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access


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This descriptive, qualitative study explored couples' experiences of giving and receiving support for depression. Nine people who were or had been depressed were interviewed jointly with their partners on two separate occasions. Partners were asked what their attempts to be supportive had entailed, what had helped or hindered them in providing support, and how they had experienced the support process. People with depression were asked how they had experienced their partner's support attempts and, in particular, what they had found helpful or unhelpful. The interview data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, the aim being to identify themes that were common across couples relating to the experience of giving and receiving support for depression in the context of an intimate relationship. Several themes emerged, which were organised within two higher-order domains. The first domain, 'Couples' experience of depression: A longitudinal perspective', was concerned with the changing context of the couples' experience and thus provided a dynamic backdrop to the second domain, 'The helping process', which focused specifically on participants' experiences of giving and receiving support for depression. Couples' accounts suggested that the challenges they faced over the course of an episode of depression were many and could vary substantially from one phase in this developmental journey to the next. This added a further layer of complexity to the already difficult circumstances in which the couples' coping and helping efforts took place.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Partner support in depression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Depression; Support
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099016
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