On Causality, Responsibility, and Blame in Marriage: Validity of the Entailment Model

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Abstract

We examined the entailment model of attributions in close relationships (F. D. Fincham & T. N. Bradbury, 1987a) using structural equation modeling. In this model, judgments of causality lead to judgments of responsibility, which in turn determine judgments of blame. The sample consisted of 206 married or cohabiting couples who completed the Conflict Rating Scale and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. The path analyses conducted with LISREL VII supported the value of an entailment conceptualization for both self (women and men) and spouse attributions (men only). As hypothesized, for men the paths among causality, responsibility, blame, and marital adjustment confirmed the mediating role of responsibility and blame attributions. For women, small direct pathways leading to marital satisfaction were found, as well as 2 large indirect pathways specified by the entailment model.

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