People with psychological problems almost always experience difficulties with interpersonal relationships and communication. Are interpersonal difficulties simply the result of psychological disturbance, or can they also precipitate and maintain psychopathology? This book presents an in-depth analysis of interpersonal theories and research findings on frequently encountered mental health problems. It reviews a vast body of knowledge on how interpersonal experiences fundamentally shape an individual's behavior, thoughts, and emotions, sometimes with painful and far-reaching effects. In the process, the book provides the most comprehensive discussion to date of the interpersonal paradigm in mental health.
Written in a clear, nontechnical style, the book takes a close look at the full range of major psychological disorders: depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders. Chapters describe the clinical features and epidemiology of each disorder and examine its interpersonal characteristics in depth. The focus is two-fold, encompassing both how interpersonal difficulties affect psychological problems and how these problems then disrupt relationships and communication. The book cogently demonstrates that interpersonal events have a profound impact on the development, course, and consequences of specific disorders, even those that can be traced to biological or cognitive factors. Also discussed are broader connections between interpersonal experiences and vulnerability to psychopathology. Throughout, findings are incorporated from diverse theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological perspectives, including hundreds of studies of parent-child relations, marital interaction, personal relationships, interpersonal communication, and everyday social interactions. Bringing readers up to date on current knowledge, the book also identifies key areas for future investigation.
This timely work will be read with interest by students, researchers, and practitioners in clinical, social, personality, and developmental psychology; interpersonal communication; counseling psychology; and family studies. It will serve as a text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses.