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Erin Ross (13)
Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - The Nature of Marital Conflict

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PSYC 3630
Erin Ross

Lecture 6 1 February 7th, 2012 The Nature of Marital Conflict - Look at how couples interact in situations of conflicts - Compare couples of distressed or non-distressed – and see how they handle a conflict - Distress couples emit more negative behaviour (verbalization) during conflict, fewer positive verbalization - Negative reciprocation in distressed couples - Escalating negative patterns when there’s physical violence – couples progress physical conflict tactics - Repair responses = break down verbal negativity – repair the interaction; “meta-communication” o Restoration attempts o “you are not listening to me” ; changes in tone o Nondistressed couples focus on the content of the conflict, not the emotions of the conflict o Less likely to work for the distressed couples – they focus on the emotion as opposed to the content - Exit strategies = to step out of negative cycling of responding o Agree to physically walk away from an interaction - Demand withdrawal = woman demands something and gets the response of withdrawal, which results anger o Nondistressed couples withdrawing does not result to escalating negativity Topics of Conflicts Role Expectations - Couples have set of expectations of what the other partner will do / be - How tasks are allocated/executed – help organize extended kin relationships, exterior home maintenance Connectedness/Separation - Need time to act independently - Person need for connectedness at a specific time, partner has to meet that need - Pursuing and distancing = pursuing for connection feels isolated, distancing from being nagged for connection Fairness and Equity - N American culture = fairness and equity are relationship norm - Reward proportional to cost = equitable relationship (perceived equity) - Response to unfairness = decrease cost of relationship (pulling away from partner), increase benefit of relationship, decrease partner’s benefits Managing Conflicts Conflict Management Goals 1) Maintaining intimacy a. Restore harmony – use strategies to emphasize compromise and cooperation b. Behaviour reflect meta-communication interest, concern, support for partner 2) Eliminating conflict a. Conflict diverse people = strategies of denial, avoidance, suppression of anger b. They inherit the idea that conflicts are disruptive to relationship 3) Winning at all costs a. Goal =dominance, winning, power, ability to control the other person b. Without mutual consent c. Receiver = comply (delegitimize your /authority), resist (have power struggle, counter effort of control) Lecture 6 2 Fe
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