Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



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.


First Advisor

Paula R Pietromonaco

Second Advisor

Sally I Powers

Included in

Psychology Commons