Marriage breakdown hits women harder than men

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The Independent Online
Breakdowns in marriage can lead to depression in women, but not in men, according to new research. But when men get depressed they see their relationship as deteriorating, whereas the same is not true for women.

Psychologists at the University of Cardiff and at American universities interviewed 150 newly-weds and returned to them 18 months later. The full results are due to be published in the journal Psychological Science later this summer.

Professor Frank Fincham, who carried out the research among American couples, said: "Depression in a man is not likely to be a symptom of marital stress but it may lead to marital problems. Marital problems are likely to cause depression in women."

"The sample finding was very clear cut," he added. "From our research it seems women value relationships more than men do and that means that if something important to you is not working it can be pretty depressing. Men did not put the same degree of value on relationships."