A recent study has revealed that hostile and anti-social behaviour of husbands aggravates their wives' depression symptoms.
Christine Proulx, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, insisted that husbands could be a reason behind depression in married women.
She said: "In the study, husbands' marital hostility was significantly related to increases in wives' symptoms of depression.
"The more hostile and anti-social behavior exhibited by husbands, the more depressed their wives were after three years.
"These findings suggest that husbands' treatment of their wives significantly impacts their psychological well-being and that hostile behavior has a lasting effect on couples that continues throughout their marriages."
On the other hand, researchers found no significant relationship between wives' hostile behavior and husbands' depression.
The researchers measured hostile and anti-social behaviors, after watching twenty-minute videos of couples interacting in their homes.
Anti-social behaviors are defined as those that are self-centered, defiant or show a lack of constraint, while hostile behaviors are those that are angry, critical or rejecting.
Proulx concluded: "It's critical that professionals ask people experiencing depression about their close relationships and recognize that their spouse's behavior influences how they feel about life and themselves, especially among women.
"It is important to intervene at the couple level and make spouses aware that how they act toward each other has a long-term effect on their emotional and physical well-being."
The study titled, "Moderators of the Link between Marital Hostility and Change in Spouses' Depressive Symptoms," has been published in the Journal of Family Psychology.