Conflict resolution in distressed and nondistressed married couples

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Compared the communication interactions of 12 maritally distressed and 12 nondistressed (as determined by the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test) couples while they engaged in conflict resolution tasks. Analyses of ratings from 2 behavioral observation systems (Interpersonal Behavior Rating System and the Coding Scheme for Interpersonal Conflict) indicated that distressed couples made significantly more negative and fewer positive cognitive and problem-solving acts. Sequential analyses showed that distressed couples evidenced more reciprocity of negative communications as compared with nondistressed couples. The influence of individual spouse, couple type, and other experimental factors on communication patterns were quantified using multivariate analyses. The relationships of these findings to the etiology and treatment of marital distress are discussed. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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