Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

3-10-2015

Degree Program

Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

Advisor Name

Paula

Advisor Middle Initial

R

Advisor Last Name

Pietromonaco

Co-advisor Name

Sally

Co-advisor Middle Initial

I

Co-advisor Last Name

Powers

Abstract

We investigated spouses’ ability to engage in a positive interaction following relationship conflict, a process that involves skills in recovering from distress and reconnecting with one’s partner. The quality of positive interactions was hypothesized to vary as a function of attachment and have implications for marital satisfaction. Newlywed couples discussed a conflict in their relationship followed by a discussion of positive aspects of their relationship. We hypothesized and found that greater attachment avoidance in husbands predicted less positive behavior in both partners during the positive interaction. Additionally, wives’ positive behavior predicted both partners’ relationship satisfaction, even above and beyond caregiving and careseeking behavior during the conflict. The findings point to the importance of examining not only how couples discuss conflicts, but also how they behave in the aftermath of those discussions.

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Psychology Commons

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