Marital discord and coronary artery disease: a comparison of behaviorally defined discrete groups

Update item information
Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Psychology
Creator Smith, Timothy W.
Other Author Uchino, Bert N.; Berg, Cynthia A.; Florsheim, Paul
Title Marital discord and coronary artery disease: a comparison of behaviorally defined discrete groups
Date 2012-01-01
Description Objective: Marital difficulties can confer risk of coronary heart disease, as in a study of outwardly healthy couples (T. W. Smith et al., 2011) where behavioral ratings of low affiliation and high control during marital disagreements were associated with asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD). However, taxometric studies suggest that marital discord is more accurately represented by discrete groups, rather than continuous dimensions. To determine if a categorical representation of marital discord was also related to CAD, discordant and nondiscordant groups were identified via cluster analysis in further analyses of the T. W. Smith et al. (2011) study. Method: One hundred fifty healthy couples (M age = 63.5) completed a marital disagreement discussion, self-reports of anxiety and anger during the disagreement, and self-report measures of marital adjustment. CAD was measured as coronary artery calcification (CAC) via computed tomography scans. Results: In a 2-group cluster solution, 31% of couples were characterized as discordant, with higher levels of hostility and dominance and lower levels of warmth compared with the nondiscordant group. Discordant couples reported lower marital adjustment and greater negative affect during the discussion. Controlling biomedical and behavioral risk factors, discordant couples had greater CAC (p = .029, η2 = .035). Discordant and nondiscordant groups defined via self-reported marital adjustment did not differ in CAC (p = .17, η2 = .014). Conclusions: Marital discord defined categorically and with behavioral observations was associated with greater levels of asymptomatic CAD. Marital discord is associated with higher risk at early stages of coronary heart disease, but commonly used self-reports may underestimate this risk.
Type Text
Publisher American Philosophical Association
Volume 80
Issue 1
First Page 87
Last Page 92
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Smith, T.W., Uchino, B.N., Berg, C.A., Florsheim, P. (2012). Marital discord and coronary artery disease: a comparison of behaviorally defined discrete groups. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 80(1), 87-92
Rights Management (c)American Philosophical Association
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 89,150 bytes
Identifier uspace,17547
ARK ark:/87278/s6mc9hrc
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-08-28
Date Modified 2012-08-28
ID 708038
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6mc9hrc