Blue Brides: Exploring Postnuptial Depressive Symptoms

Laura Stafford, Allison M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We conducted in-depth interviews with 28 newly married women to explore the experience of postnuptial depressive symptoms. Nearly half of the participants indicated that they felt let down or depressed following their wedding, and some participants reported clinical levels of depression. We found several stark contrasts between the bluest and the happiest brides. Blue brides described feeling uncertain in their marriages, focused on self during wedding planning, and characterized their wedding as an ending followed by unmet expectations. Happier brides expressed relational confidence, demonstrated a relational focus during wedding planning, and framed their wedding in terms of new beginnings and unexpected positive emotions. We discuss the implications of these results in terms of mental and relational health in early marriage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-2231
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number15
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • depression
  • dyadic relationship/quality/satisfaction
  • intimate relationships
  • marriage
  • newlyweds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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