DOES RELATIONSHIP QUALITY MODERATE THE IMPACT OF MARITAL BEREAVEMENT ON DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS?
Studies assessing the impact of relationship quality (RQ) on marital bereavement have resulted in discrepant findings. These discrepancies could be due to two shortcomings of previous research, namely that RQ is typically assessed only after bereavement and that bipolar measures of RQ are used. We tested these assumptions with data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study. This study assessed positive and negative RQ with separate measures and before bereavement. Only negative RQ moderated the impact of bereavement on depressive symptoms: Whereas depression increased with negative RQ during marriage, negative RQ became irrelevant once the partner had died.