Marital interaction and adjustment in patients with essential hypertension

R. J. Hafner, J. P. Chalmers, H. Swift, J. R. Graham, M. J. West, L. M.H. Wing

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Twenty-five men and twenty-six women with essential hypertension, and their spouses, were compared with normotensive control couples on a questionnaire measure of marital adjustment. The marriages of the hypertensive men showed significantly raised levels of marital dissatisfaction in the spouses, and an abnormal degree of reciprocal dissatisfaction between spouses. The marriages of the female patients showed an abnormal lack of reciprocity between spouse's scores. These findings support anecdotal reports of a relationship between marital disharmony and communication problems and elevated blood pressure. It is suggested that clinicians could routinely assess marital adjustment in patients with essential hypertension, and that in some cases conjoint marital therapy might be an adjunct or alternative to anti-hypertensive medications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalClinical and Experimental Hypertension
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Essential Hypertension
  • Family Relations
  • Marital Interaction


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