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Attributions in marriage: State or trait? A growth curve analysis

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Abstract

Research on attributions in marriage rests on 2 assumptions. First, the attributions spouses make for their partners' behaviors have been treated as a style or a trait, reflecting enduring aspects of the perceiver. Second, attributions have been described as a causal factor in the development of the marriage over time. To evaluate the evidence for these assumptions, the authors analyzed 8 waves of longitudinal data from a sample of newlywed couples. Results offered no support for the idea of an enduring attributional style; attributions changed linearly, and changes in attributions were strongly associated with changes in marital satisfaction within each spouse. Nevertheless, controlling for these associations, initial levels of attributions predicted changes in marital satisfaction more than initial satisfaction predicted changes in attributions. Effects of neuroticism and effects on marital dissolution were also examined.

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... This study draws upon the extensive research literature demonstrating that individuals' attributions for their partners' behavior and for events occurring in their shared lives relate to the quality and functioning of their relationship (Bradbury & Fincham, 1990; Karney & Bradbury, 2000 ). Specifically, individuals who attribute negative events to stable characteristics of their partners tend to feel more pessimistic about the relationship, to adopt negative views of their partner, and to engage in maladaptive interpersonal behavior. ...
... Individuals who attribute negative events to external, situational factors tend to feel more optimistic about the relationship, to adopt more charitable views of their partner, and to engage in positive and constructive behavior (Bradbury et al., 1996). Importantly, the causal mechanisms underlying these associations are bidirectional: Individuals' preexisting levels of satisfaction have been shown to influence their attributions (Bradbury et al., 1996; Bradbury & Fincham, 1990; Fincham, 2004; Fincham, Bradbury, Arias, Byrne, & Karney, 1997), and individuals' attributions have been shown to influence future changes in satisfaction (Finchman & Bradbury, 2004; Fincham, Harold, & Gano-Phillips, 2000; Johnson, Karney, Rogge, & Bradbury, 2001; Karney & Bradbury, 2000). Research has distinguished between two different types of attributions for relationship events: attributions of causality versus blame/responsibility (Bradbury & Fincham, 1990; Gordon, Friedman, Miller, & Gaertner, 2005 ). ...
... An important strength of the research is that we examined attributions made for real (rather than hypothetical) events occurring within a highly specific domain (household money problems). As reviewed by Fincham (2004) , individuals do not adopt uniformly positive or negative attributions for all relationship events but instead tailor their attributions to the problem at hand (Karney & Bradbury, 2000 ). Hence, by assessing couples' attributions for a current, real, specific stressor—household money problems experienced during a period of widespread financial insecurity in the United States—we increase the ecological validity and generalizability of our findings. ...
Article
In the current study the authors surveyed a nationally representative sample of 632 cohabiting American couples during the height of the 2007–2009 economic crisis to examine associations between relationship quality and partners' attributions of causation and blame for household money problems. In couples where women attributed causation for household money problems to their partners' debts, spending, or employment, both they and their partners reported lower relationship satisfaction unless women also reported blaming the national economic crisis. Blaming one's partner for household money problems was associated with lower relationship satisfaction unless individuals also blamed themselves. Being blamed for household money problems by one's partner was associated with lower satisfaction among women, but this association was attenuated if the male partner also blamed the economic crisis.
... Additionally, the impact of EFT on these variables could be studied. • RELATE measure (RELATES- 55) In the current study, we are using 12 subscales from the RELATE measure. In most cases, we will assess both the actor (self ) and partner perspectives for each item. ...
... The use of MLM as the method of analysis is relatively new to couple research, and many of the published studies that were conducted tested two-level models [53][54][55][56]. For the sample size estimation in the current study, we considered the simulation study by Mass and Hox [57] and previous studies that have used two-level MLM models with couples. ...
Article
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Background: Couple relationship distress is common and associated with poor physical, psychological, relational outcomes for both partners. Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT) is a short-term structured approach based on attachment theory that integrates a humanistic, experiential approach to restructuring emotional experience and a systemic structural approach to restructuring interactions. This model has been shown to be an effective treatment for couple distress. The supporting research, however, has only been conducted with English-speaking couples. Despite Spanish being the second-most spoken language and meaningful cultural differences between English- and Spanish-speaking countries, the efficacy of EFT has not been examined in this cultural context. This study will examine the efficacy of EFT in this particular context and advance the understanding of potential mechanisms of change. Methods: We will use a multicenter randomized wait-list controlled design to examine the efficacy of EFT in a Spanish-speaking sample of moderately distressed couples. One hundred forty individuals in 70 couples in Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain will be randomly assigned to receive 19-21 sessions of EFT or be placed on a wait list. Outcomes on a range of relational and individual mental health variables will be assessed prior to random assignment, throughout treatment, and at the conclusion of treatment. Primary outcomes will include dyadic adjustment, couple satisfaction, and attachment. Secondary variables, such as loneliness, parenting, affective communication, and sexual satisfaction, will be included as potential mediators of the treatment effect. Couples in the treatment group will also be assessed at 3-, 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month follow-ups. Process variables such as the therapeutic alliance will also be assessed routinely in couples assigned to the treatment group. Couples in the waitlist will receive a psychoeducational program based on EFT after completing the study. Discussion: This study will be the first RCT of Emotionally Focused Therapy in a Spanish-speaking context. The results of the study will inform researchers interested in whether treatments developed and tested in the US and Canada can be effective in differing cultural contexts. It may also point researchers and clinicians to areas where cultural adaptation is needed to improve efficacy. Trial registration: NCT04277325; February 20, 2020.
... Depression (Roberson, Lenger, Norona, & Olmstead, 2018), life satisfaction, (Roberson et al., 2018), negative attributions (Karney & Bradbury, 2000), personality (Robins, Caspi, & Moffitt, 2000), relational aggression (Coyne et al., 2017), and caregiving (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2016) are notable longitudinal predictors of relationship quality, but we know little about the predictive utility of power dynamics. Power dynamics could potentially influence marital quality, as power dynamics have been linked to these aforementioned longitudinal predictors such as relational aggression (Oka et al., 2016) and depression (Byrne et al., 2004). ...
Article
Spouses perceiving that they have shared power in marriage has been linked to higher marital quality and attachment security. Existing research, however, is limited in assessing how these perceptions influence both spouses and whether these influences endure over time. To address these limitations, we analyzed the longitudinal relationship reports from 319 couples from the Flourishing Families Project (FFP) to estimate biyearly (Waves 1, 3, and 5) and yearly (Waves 3-5) longitudinal actor-partner interdependence models. Reporting shared power in marriage was linked to the actors' higher marital quality and lower attachment insecurity over time (although less consistently for attachment insecurity). Longitudinal partner effects and indirect effects were also found from reports of shared marital power on both marital quality and attachment insecurity over time. The combined evidence suggests that power dynamics in a marriage are an important predictor of changes in couples' overall relational well-being. Accordingly, marriages appear to benefit from husbands and wives mutually seeking to help each other feel empowered in a relationship as equal and full partners. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
... In contrast to the substantial body of research testing the direct association between neuroticism and marital well-being, examinations aimed at delineating the perceptual mechanisms via which neuroticism is associated with marital well-being remain sparse. Although it has been well documented that spouses high in neuroticism tend to make maladaptive attributions for marital events (Karney & Bradbury, 2000;Karney, Bradbury, Fincham, & Sullivan, 1994;McNulty, 2008), few efforts have been devoted to specifically testing the mediating role of attribution in the association between neuroticism and marital well-being. To our knowledge, the most relevant examination to date was a cross-sectional survey study by Finn, Mitte, and Neyer (2013). ...
Article
On the basis of three annual waves of data obtained from 268 Chinese couples, we tested an actor-partner interdependence mediation model in which spouses' neuroticism was linked to their own and partners' marital satisfaction through both intrapersonal processes (i.e., marital attribution) and interpersonal processes (i.e., marital aggression). Considering intra- and interpersonal processes simultaneously, four indirect, mediating pathways were identified: Time 1 Wives' Neuroticism → Time 2 Wives' Attribution or Aggression, while controlling for Time 1 Wives' Attribution or Aggression → Time 3 Wives' or Husbands' Marital Satisfaction, while controlling for Time 1 Wives' or Husbands' Marital Satisfaction. This study not only adds to a limited body of research examining why neuroticism is associated with conjugal well-being, but also extends prior research by focusing on Chinese couples and utilizing a longitudinal, dyadic mediation model. Such findings have important practical implications. Couples involving neurotic partners may benefit from interventions based on cognitive-behavioral approaches. When working with couples challenged by neuroticism, practitioners need to help them address dysfunctional interactive patterns as well as distorted cognitive styles. © 2018 Family Process Institute.
... Often individuals that have high trait neuroticism demonstrate lower levels of marital satisfaction (Karney & Bradbury, 2000). Adaptive processes like the proper application of mutual problem-solving techniques help to ameliorate the effects of stress and neuroticism. ...
... For more than three decades, researchers have found that individual differences in attachment predict a variety of romantic relationship outcomes. For example, individuals with secure attachment styles tend to adopt relationship-enhancing attributions for their partners' behaviours (Karney & Bradbury, 2000). Securely attached individuals also engaged in the most relaxed and responsive communication with their relationship partners (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2013), showing expressive non-verbal behaviour (Tucker & Anders, 1998) and engaging in adequate self-disclosure (Bradford, Feeney, & Campbell, 2002). ...
Article
This study examined attachment styles, online behaviors, offline relationships, and sexuality of individuals engaged in a popular massive multiplayer online (MMO) game (Game of War: Fire Age). 178 players currently involved in romantic relationships completed surveys for in-game currency. Time spent gaming predicted less time with others, less relationship satisfaction, more relationship uncertainty, more sexual anxiety, and more external sexual control. However, attachment avoidance partially mediated the relationship between time spent online gaming relationship satisfaction; self- partner, and relationship uncertainty; and sexual anxiety.
... Situation-focused reappraisal entails changing the emotional meaning of a situation by reinterpreting it[21], for example by focusing on positive or negative aspects of the situation, or by imagining a positive or negative outcome[35]. The use of cognitive reappraisal to regulate love feelings is related to the notion that cognitive processes, including making attributions, are associated with relationship satisfaction[36,37]. We focus on the intensity of infatuation and attachment rather than relationship outcomes, since love feelings do not occur exclusively in the context of romantic relationships[14]. ...
Article
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Love feelings can be more intense than desired (e.g., after a break-up) or less intense than desired (e.g., in long-term relationships). If only we could control our love feelings! We present the concept of explicit love regulation, which we define as the use of behavioral and cognitive strategies to change the intensity of current feelings of romantic love. We present the first two studies on preconceptions about, strategies for, and the feasibility of love regulation. Questionnaire responses showed that people perceive love feelings as somewhat uncontrollable. Still, in four open questions people reported to use strategies such as cognitive reappraisal, distraction, avoidance, and undertaking (new) activities to cope with break-ups, to maintain long-term relationships, and to regulate love feelings. Instructed up-regulation of love using reappraisal increased subjective feelings of attachment, while love down-regulation decreased subjective feelings of infatuation and attachment. We used the late positive potential (LPP) amplitude as an objective index of regulation success. Instructed love up-regulation enhanced the LPP between 300–400 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship and in participants who had recently experienced a romantic break-up, while love down-regulation reduced the LPP between 700–3000 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship. These findings corroborate the self-reported feasibility of love regulation, although they are complicated by the finding that love up-regulation also reduced the LPP between 700–3000 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship. To conclude, although people have the preconception that love feelings are uncontrollable, we show for the first time that intentional regulation of love feelings using reappraisal, and perhaps other strategies, is feasible. Love regulation will benefit individuals and society because it could enhance positive effects and reduce negative effects of romantic love.
... Or, each growth curve represented an individual's baseline or starting point (i.e., intercept) and the rate of change from one point to the next (i.e., the slope) on a particular variable (Duckworth, Tsukayama, & May, 2010). Second, at the between subjects level, it could be determined that individuals who differ a variable (e.g., avoidance) have different trajectories or rates of change on another variable (e.g., dissatisfaction) (Karney & Bradbury, 2000). In addition to examining time as a random effect, for each of the analyses, time was entered as a main effect (to examine whether, on average, diary entry scores varied significantly over each measurement interval within individuals) as well as an interaction (to examine whether individuals higher on a particular variable have more or less growth per interval compared with individuals on the grand mean for that variable) in the fixed effects. ...
Article
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This study examined the bidirectional nature of the association between one's own topic avoidance and relationship dissatisfaction. It also explored how perceptions of a dating partner's communication competence and one's own communication efficacy affect this association. Three hundred undergraduates tracked their topic avoidance with their dating partner over a two week period. The results provided modest support for the idea that the association between topic avoidance and dissatisfaction is bidirectional for women, but not men. In addition, for men and women, global dissatisfaction with their dating relationship was a stronger predictor of daily topic avoidance (than daily topic avoidance was of daily dissatisfaction). Initial global levels of relationship dissatisfaction predicted greater levels of topic avoidance and this effect was quite stable over time, particularly for women. The results also revealed that the perception of a partner's communication incompetence was indirectly associated with increases in topic avoidance over time only because it affected one's communication efficacy. Finally, the results indicated that women who were highly efficacious were particularly dissatisfied by their topic avoidance over time.
... Some researchers study personality and how it is manifested in interpersonal relationships (Ozer and Benet-Martinez 2006). Others look at how personality affects one's perception of the behaviors and attitudes of others, which in turn affects the way one reacts to them (Karney and Bradbury 2000). One approach to answering the initial question is to study how, in romantic relationships, the effects of one's personality and perception of the other's personality are at play between two partners reciprocally (Orth 2013). ...
Article
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This project examines the effects of self- and partner-rated personality and their reciprocal interaction between two partners. Personality in 113 young dating couples was measured with the Five-Factor Model and maladaptive personality trait model of the DSM-5. Partners completed self- and partner-reports of the NEO-FFI-3 and the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) as well as the self-report Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). Three sets of Actor-Partner Interdependence Models (APIMs) were run to estimate actor and partner effects of self-rated personality, partner-rated personality, and of both sets of effects simultaneously in an integrated model. When self- and partner-rating models were examined separately, several significant actor and partner effects were observed. However, the strongest effects were observed in the partner-rating models. When self- and partner-rated personality were examined at the same time, most effects from the self-rating models disappeared. Furthermore, most of the effects as well as the strongest one observed were associated with an individual’s perception of their partner’s personality, particularly men’s perception of women’s personality. This study demonstrates the incremental predictive utility of individuals’ perception of their partner’s personality for explaining their own dyadic adjustment.
... In particular, avoiding distributive tactics can help promote greater marital satisfaction even while grappling with WFC. Similarly, recognizing that a spouse's negative conflict tactics could be due to WFC rather than dispositional qualities may encourage more adaptive attributions, which have been shown to preserve marital satisfaction over time (Karney & Bradbury, 2000). ...
Article
This study examined how work–family conflict (WFC) is associated with mechanisms of relational turbulence, conflict tactics, and marital satisfaction. Six hundred and thirty-three married workers completed an online survey. Family interference with work and spouses’ work interfering with one’s family predicted greater relational uncertainty and interference from partners, whereas one’s own work interfering with family did not predict these mechanisms of turbulence. All three sources of relational uncertainty, and interference from partners, predicted increased avoidance and distributive tactic use. Facilitation from partners predicted increased use of integrative tactics. Finally, relational uncertainty, interference from partners, and distributive conflict tactics partially mediated the associations of WFC with marital satisfaction.
... Partners do not routinely agree on how they understand and explain issues occurring in their relationship, and relationship events do not always have a single objective meaning. The interpretations and causal attributions that partners offer for these events (e.g., ascribing the cause of problems to the partner versus the partner's circumstances) have long been theorized to influence the quality of intimate relationships (e.g., Jacobson and Moore 1981) and have been shown to correlate with observed couple behaviors (Bradbury et al. 1996;Bradbury and Fincham 1992) and to predict relationship satisfaction cross sectionally (Jacobson et al. 1985; for reviews, see Bradbury and Fincham 1990;Fincham and Bradbury 1991), longitudinally (Fincham and Bradbury 1987b;Karney and Bradbury 2000), and experimentally (Fincham and Bradbury 1988). Understanding attributional processes contributed to the development of Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy, which targets couples' arbitrary or distorted cognitive appraisals of events (Baucom and Epstein 1990), and a number of studies support the efficacy of this approach to treating relationship distress, particularly among white and middle-class samples (for reviews, see Baucom et al. 2015;Bradbury and Bodenmann 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Theoretical and clinical perspectives argue that couples’ maladaptive attributions for marital problems lead to marital distress and that these attributions will detract from couples’ relationships regardless of their external circumstances. However, emerging work in cognitive psychology indicates that stress simplifies individuals’ information processing, suggesting that the demands faced by couples may strengthen the link between maladaptive attributions and relationship satisfaction. Methods With a sample of 462 ethnically diverse newlywed spouses living with low incomes (231 couples, with > 30% Black and > 50% Latinx), we assessed attributions and relationship satisfaction, along with three hypothesized moderators: couples’ financial strain, perceived financial capital within couples’ social networks, and the proportion of married couples within couples’ social networks. Results After replicating the robust association between maladaptive attributions and relationship satisfaction, we demonstrate that the association between maladaptive attributions and satisfaction is stronger to the extent that spouses’ social networks are characterized by fewer financial resources and lower proportions of married couples. Conclusion Contextual factors may alter the effects that partners’ cognitions have on relationship satisfaction, suggesting that influences far removed from the dyad itself can affect basic processes arising between partners.
... Neuroticism is related to depression and anxiety (Kendler et al., 1993;Khan et al., 2005) which, in turn, are associated with rumination (Nolan et al., 1998) and catastrophizing (Goubert et al., 2004). In addition, individuals with higher levels in neuroticism tend to harbor negative attributions about their partner's behavior and their relationship in general (Karney & Bradbury, 2000;Karney et al., 1994), interpret ambiguous situations and partner behaviors in a pessimistic and negative fashion, and anticipate that an upcoming interaction with their partner will be negative (Finn et al., 2013;McNulty, 2008). More precisely, individuals with higher levels in neuroticism are less satisfied with their intimate partner relationship because they tend to interpret their partners' behaviors in a rather negative way; in addition, their own behavior is negatively interpreted by their partners as well (Finn et al., 2013). ...
Article
Relationship satisfaction—the degree to which a close relationship is perceived as rewarding and satisfying by both partners—is reliably predicted by both partners’ neuroticism, but the psychological mechanisms underlying this effect are not sufficiently well understood. By analyzing several cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes simultaneously, the current longitudinal study looked at how both partners’ neuroticism affects their respective (and mutual) relationship satisfaction both on an intra- and on an interpersonal level. Dyadic data from 2090 heterosexual couples from the “Pairfam” study were analyzed with Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Models (APIMeM). Results support the assumption that neuroticism reliably predicts cognitive, emotional, and behavioral variables, which, in turn, predict both partners’ relationship satisfaction. Importantly, cognitive processes play a particularly important role both on an interpersonal as well as on an intrapersonal level. These findings help to shed light on the maladaptive cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes underlying the effect of neuroticism on relationship satisfaction.
... For instance, a review of empirical studies has shown that individuals in nondistressed marriages are more likely to make internal attributions for their partners' positive conflict behaviors, whereas individuals in distressed marriages are more likely to make external attributions for their partners' positive conflict behaviors (Bradbury & Fincham, 1990). Similarly, satisfied dating couples accord their partners more responsibility for positive behaviors and less responsibility for negative behaviors (Fletcher, Fincham, Cramer, & Heron, 1987), and relational satisfaction has been shown to predict married couples' attributions for their partners' conflict behavior 18 months later (Fincham, Harold, & Gano-Phillips, 2000;Karney & Bradbury, 2000). It is likely that relational satisfaction moderates the impact of channel, flooding, and repair on effective conflict communication. ...
Article
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This study examines the influence of face-to-face (FtF) communication and mediated communication on effective conflict communication among married and dating couples, and whether flooding or repair were mechanisms for effective conflict communication. A national sample of couples who primarily used mediated communication or FtF communication in a recent conflict discussion participated. Individuals who reported primarily using FtF communication experienced a negative relationship between flooding and effective conflict communication. This relationship was not significant for individuals who primarily used mediated communication, suggesting that mediated communication might buffer the negative effect of flooding on effective conflict communication. Repair also mediated the indirect effect of channel on effective conflict communication for individuals with low and high levels of relational satisfaction, suggesting mediated communication facilitates repair among dissatisfied couples, and FtF communication facilitates repair among satisfied couples. This study emphasizes the importance of channel, reduced flooding, repair, and relational satisfaction for effective conflict communication.
... Regarding individual well-being, Golin et al. (1981) demonstrated that college students who tended to view the causes of undesirable outcomes as less global and less stable experienced fewer depressive symptoms two months later. At the interpersonal level, Karney and Bradbury (2000) demonstrated that married spouses who made more external, less global, and less stable attributions for their partners' negative behaviors remained more satisfied with their relationships over four years. In fact, this pattern of attributions was at one time labeled relationship enhancing in the marital literature (Holtzworth-Munroe & Jacobson, 1985) and gave rise to therapy attempts to inculcate such attributions (e.g., Baucom & Lester, 1986), attempts that strongly influenced the way couples therapy is practiced today (see Epstein & Baucom, 2002). ...
Article
The field of positive psychology rests on the assumption that certain psychological traits and processes are inherently beneficial for well-being. We review evidence that challenges this assumption. First, we review data from 4 independent longitudinal studies of marriage revealing that 4 ostensibly positive processes—forgiveness, optimistic expectations, positive thoughts, and kindness— can either benefit or harm well-being depending on the context in which they operate. Although all 4 processes predicted better relationship well-being among spouses in healthy marriages, they predicted worse relationship well-being in more troubled marriages. Then, we review evidence from other research that reveals that whether ostensibly positive psychological traits and processes benefit or harm well-being depends on the context of various noninterpersonal domains as well. Finally, we conclude by arguing that any movement to promote well-being may be most successful to the extent that it (a) examines the conditions under which the same traits and processes may promote versus threaten well-being, (b) examines both healthy and unhealthy people , (c) examines well-being over substantial periods of time, and (d) avoids labeling psychological traits and processes as positive or negative.
... While negative thinking activates criticism [34] [35] [36], positive thinking, in its turn, boosts creativity, improves tolerance for challenges, and capability to not only see the negatives but also appreciate the good in situations (Aspinw) [34] [35] [36][37] [38]. Positive thoughts hence are a basic, necessary quality for a person to lift his happiness [39] [40][41] [42] [43][44] [45]. ...
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This article aims to dive into some of the factors fostering positive thinking in youth. In this framework, a survey was conducted with the voluntary participation of 332 university students and the results were tested through discriminant, correlation and ROC analysis. The statistics based on the survey responses had revealed that formation of positive mindset were favourably influenced by family, happy childhood, friendship, love, optimistic outlook, self-confidence and faith in God, while money, age and gender were evaluated as non impacting components in this regard. Certain suggestions were put forward based on the results yielded.
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Attributions—the explanations spouses give to each other’s behavior—have been consistently linked to relationship satisfaction, but little is known about the origins of attributional tendencies. In this study, an actor–partner inter-dependence model was tested to examine the relationships among pessimistic attributions, anxious attachment, and relationship satisfaction, using married couples (N = 767) from The German Family Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam; Huinink et al., 2011). For husbands and wives, higher levels of anxious attachment predicted more pessimistic attributions 2 years later. These pessimistic attributions, in turn, predicted their own later relationship satisfaction. Husbands’ pessimistic attributions also predicted lower wives’ relationship satisfaction. Pessimistic attributions fully mediated the relationship between anxious attachment and relationship satisfaction within spouses. It may therefore be beneficial when intervening with couples to facilitate improvement in their attachment security and thereby promote more optimistic attributions and higher relationship satisfaction.
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The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between positive illusions, relationship commitment and attributions among married individuals. Demographic Information Form, Positive Illusion Scale, Relationship Attribution Measure and Relationship Stability Scale were administered to 347 married individuals. Results showed that relationship satisfaction was the best predictor variable of positive marital illusions. In contrast, number of children, quality of alternatives, motivation and blame variables were negative predictors of positive marital illusions. Males reported more idealistic distortion than females did. Participants with high education levels scored higher on marital satisfaction, idealistic distortion and marital ideals than did participants with low education levels. Females with low education levels had the lowest positive illusions. Finally, participants grouped according to their levels of positive illusions were compared in terms of relationship commitment variables and attribution styles. In comparison to individuals with low and middle positive illusions, high positive illusion group had significantly higher scores on relationship satisfaction, relationship investment and relationship commitment. In contrast, individuals with low positive illusion levels had higher scores on quality of alternatives, causality and responsibility attributes. As a result, marital positive illusions are strongly related to relationship commitment.
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The aim of this study was to conduct a complementary to current and recent meta-analysis of risk factors to intimate partner violence literature review. This work confirms that on community-level, low economic development and democracy, lack of social rights, culture of honor and masculine culture - characterized by sexist attitudes and tolerance to violence- are risk factors. On contextual and individual level, being younger, having a low income and low education level, having more than one child, using violence reciprocally against ones partner, depression, fear and alcohol consumption are associated with increased risk of being a victim of intimate violence. Less consistency, are risk factors, situations of war, religious fundamentalism, being in a long term relationship, lower relationship satisfaction, emotions such as guilt, shame and other factors such as pregnancy.
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The present review concerns research on the effect of time on causal attributions. Those studies for the most part take attribution as a static phenomenon, rarely taking the factor of time into account. Since the 1980s researchers, especially those influenced by Heider's (1958) balance model, have become interested in the ways in which time impinges on the development of attributions. We present experimental research involving a variety of methodological procedures for assessing attributions over time, and propose a synthesis of the investigations carried out in this domain. We develop a framework for future research in the light of the limitations of the work presented in the final section. This review demonstrates the necessity for looking at attribution from a temporal perspective, as well as the interest inherent in that approach.
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Würdest du mehr von Betriebswirtschaft verstehen, stü wir jetzt nicht kurz vor der Pleitel« Mit einem Plakat, auf dem ein Paar mit Sprechbfase und diesem aufmerksamkeitsheischenden Vorwurf abgebildet war, warb unlängst eine Bildungseinrichtung für die Teilnahme an Buchführungskursen. Der Alltag in Partnerschaften bringt eine Vielzahl von Belastungen mit sich. Oft stellt sich dann die Frage: Wie konnte es dazu kommen? In solchen Situationen wird unter Umständen dem Partner oder der Partnerin Schuld zugeschrieben.
Chapter
Nearly 50 years ago, when the first edition of the Handbook of Marriage and Family was published, family scholars underscored the central importance of marriage in individuals’ lives and accordingly advocated for a better understanding of those factors that predict marital success and positive marital adjustment (Bernard, 1964; Bowerman, 1964). It is unclear whether these pioneering family scholars recognized as early as 1964 that they were on the precipice of significant social changes that would define the latter half of the twentieth century as a period of marital “deinstitutionalization” (Cherlin, 2004) or the “world-historic transformation” of marriage (Coontz, 2004). Prior to the Handbook’s second edition in 1987, however, they certainly knew something was up (see Bernard’s The Future of Marriage, 1972). Evidenced by marriage rate declines, increases in nonmarital cohabitation and childbearing, the postponement of marriage, and elevated divorce rates, marriage has become one of several legitimate options for organizing couple relationships and reproduction in the United States and other Western countries (Amato, 2004; Fincham & Beach, 2010). Whether or not these trends signify declines in the value of marriage or simply reflect societal change has been hotly debated. Religious leaders, politicians, clinicians, and the federal government have all weighed in on the debate and have allocated significant resources to promote marriage as the ideal. Although skepticism remains about the utility of these steps (Huston & Melz, 2004; Karney & Bradbury, 2005), most scholars agree that the current coexistence of marriage with multiple forms of other relationship and childrearing options is unprecedented.
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The present study further developed the cognitive-behavioral model of marriage by reviewing the literature on the attribution-behavior association in married samples and testing the association in an engaged sample. Forty-three couples completed measures of maladaptive attributions and participated in two problem- solving conversations that were behaviorally coded. To the extent that men made maladaptive attributions about hypothetical situations, men and women displayed fewer positive behaviors and more negative behaviors during problemsolving interactions. Women's and men's maladaptive attributions about actual problems in their relationship were associated to their own behavior (fewer positive and more negative behaviors) during the couples' discussions of those problems. These findings were present when controlling for depressive symptoms and maintained when controlling for relationship satisfaction. The implications of these findings for the development and prevention of marital discord are discussed.
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This investigation examined the role of neuroticism, stressful experiences, and mutual problem solving in newlywed couples' marital satisfaction. The vulnerability-stress-adaptation model of marital development was used as the basis of the proposed hypotheses. Dyadic analyses and tests of indirect effects were performed on data from 186 couples in the first 5 years of their marriage. Results indicate that husbands' and wives' work, job–home interference, and family stress were significantly associated with their own lower marital satisfaction. Significant partner effects further indicated that husbands' and wives' family stress was negatively associated with the marital satisfaction of their partner. Additionally, the relationships between (1) neuroticism and marital satisfaction and (2) stressful events and marital satisfaction can be partially explained by mutual problem solving for both husbands and wives. This study emphasizes the important role of problem-solving communication in newlywed couples' experiences of stressful events and marital satisfaction.
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Relational problems deserve clinical attention because, once initiated, they tend to be perpetuating and chronic, and are frequently contemporaneous with or followed by other serious problems, such as individual symptoms in the most vulnerable members of the family (e.g., depression) or social unit dissolution (e.g., divorce). They may be diagnosed in either the presence or absence of individual mental disorders. In some cases, relational problems may interact with genetic vulnerabilities in contributing to the development of psychopathology. Four major constructs have been investigated that describe nodal areas of relational difficulty in the family and marital environment: structure, communication, expression of affect, and problem solving. Relational problems are best observed and treated directly in a family format in which the conflicted family members are present with the therapist. Genetics, neuroimaging, and family studies are important vehicles for deciphering how interpersonal relationships affect the etiology of both physical and mental disorders.
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Semantic differential items were reconfigured to assess relationship satisfaction across separate positive and negative attitude dimensions. Study 1 (N = 1,656) supported a 2-factor model for the Positive and Negative Semantic Differential (PN–SMD), as well as its convergent, criterion-related, and incremental validity over the 16-item Couples Satisfaction Index (CSI; J. L. Funk & R. D. Rogge, 2007) using known correlates of relationship satisfaction as criteria. Study 2 (N = 89) replicated the convergent, criterion-related, and incremental validity findings of Study 1 using different criterion measures, the CSI, a bipolar semantic differential measure designed for assessing relationship satisfaction, and an existing 2-dimensional measure of relationship satisfaction. The authors demonstrated across studies that the PN–SMD captures criterion-relevant information about ambivalence versus indifference toward the relationship—associations that are only detectable when using a 2-dimensional satisfaction measure.
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This article uses Bradbury and Fincham's contextual model of relationships to clarify how proximal and distal factors affect the relationship damage associated with hurtful messages, how the consequences of a previous hurt shape people's experience of a subsequent hurtful message, and how the cumulative consequences of hurt influence relationship quality over two weeks. Participants responded about either a dating partner or friend. Multi-level modeling and regression analyses revealed that relational quality and perceptions of messages corresponded with relational damage, and the number of hurtful events and relational damage interacted to predict relational quality at the end of the study.
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Marital processes in early marriage are important for understanding couples' future marital quality. Spouses' attributions about a partner's behavior have been linked to marital quality, yet the mechanisms underlying this association remain largely unknown. When we used couple data from the Family Transitions Project (N = 280 couples) across the first 4 years of marriage, results from actor‐partner interdependence modeling demonstrated that early marriage responsibility attributions were associated with marital quality 4 years later after controlling for initial marital quality. Further, couples' warm and hostile behavior 2 years into the marriage mediated the attribution‐marital quality association. The results suggest that interventions designed to facilitate change in romantic relationships may benefit from addressing attributions for the partner's behavior, in addition to changing behaviors, as part of a dyadic process unfolding across time.
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What kinds of stories do people wish to tell about the development of their close relationships? To address this question, 2 studies of newlyweds compared retrospective reports of marital satisfaction over 4 years with prospective data on marital satisfaction over the same period. In both studies, growth curve analyses revealed that spouses tended to recall satisfaction that had declined in the distant past but made up for those declines with recent improvements. Prospective reports, however, tended to decline linearly over time. Furthermore. Study 2 revealed that current confidence in the future of the relationship was associated with perceptions of change in satisfaction but not perceptions of past levels of satisfaction. Results suggest that the ability to perceive improvements, especially over the recent past, may be a source of hope for partners in less satisfying relationships.
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After a brief overview of the general causes and consequences of injustice, the various justice principles (allocation, procedural, retribution, restoration, outcome characteristics) that have been identified in studies of injustice in family relations are presented. The largest body of research focuses on injustice in heterosexual relationships, with a majority of studies on the distribution of housework, indicating a societal shift from a specialized toward a more egalitarian distribution of family responsibilities. We summarize reports of consequences of injustices in distributions and efforts to install justice in the couple. A short compilation of studies of injustice over the course and in the aftermath of separation and divorce follows. A review of some first studies of distributional justice in same-sex couples indicates more flexible and egalitarian distributions than in heterosexual relationships. The final section concerns justice among kin, that is, justice among siblings, and differential treatment of parents like sibling favoritism and shows one more time, that the consequences of injustice do not stop at the unfairly treated individual, but spill over on the relationships of the involved persons.
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—Warum gehen die meisten Menschen Ehen oder aridere Formen einer engen Paarbeziehung ein? —Warum wählen sie dabei bestimmte Partner und nicht andere? —Warum sind viele Paare mit ihrer Beziehung relativ zufrieden und halten oft lebenslang an ihr fest? —Warum trennen sich andere Paare nach mehr oder weniger langer Zeit wieder? —Warum lassen sich die meisten Menschen nach dem Scheitern einer Beziehung auf eine neue ein? —Warum gehört eine befriedigende Ehe nach wie vor zu den zentralen Lebenszielen der meisten Menschen? Derartige Fragen werden in Theorien und Modellen der Paar-beziehung beantwortet.
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An experiment investigated the effect of relational satisfaction and media synchronicity on dating and married couples’ attributions for their partners’ positive and negative conflict behaviors. Couples completed measures of relational satisfaction, and then engaged in an online conflict discussion using synchronous or asynchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC). After the discussion, posttest questionnaires assessed their attributions for their partners’ conflict behavior. Individuals with greater relational satisfaction tended to ascribe their partners’ positive conflict behavior to internal attributions. Additional findings revealed that satisfied individuals made more internal attributions for their partners’ behavior in asynchronous CMC, rather than synchronous CMC, and satisfied individuals made more internal attributions for their partners’ positive conflict behaviors in asynchronous CMC. Relational satisfaction affects attributions in online conflict, and, contrary to prediction, satisfied individuals appear to benefit more in conflict when using asynchronous CMC.
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Researchers have investigated the directionality between relationship and sexual satisfaction: however, there remains no definitive conclusion. Previous longitudinal studies have not conceptualized relationship and sexual satisfaction as systematic developmental processes and have focused on predicting scores at later timepoints. Instead, researchers should be concerned with understanding how relationship and sexual satisfaction change together over time. The objective of this study was to use longitudinal data from midlife American marriages to test the directionality of the association between relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. Multivariate latent growth curve modeling of 1,456 midlife Americans married for 20 years from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study was used to compare directionality models. Findings support that long-term, stable marriages of midlife Americans at the sample level were characterized by a linear increase in relationship satisfaction over 20 years and a linear decline in sexual satisfaction during the same time frame. A co-change model, wherein relationship and sexual satisfaction changed together over time, fit the data best. Trajectory correlations showed that changes in relationship and sexual satisfaction were strongly interconnected. High initial levels of sexual satisfaction protected against declines in relationship satisfaction over 20 years. Results support that relationship and sexual satisfaction change together over time and highlight that the longitudinal association between these outcomes is dynamic, rather than static.
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Objective Besides their communication and socialization problems, many children with Intellectual Disability (ID) have difficulties with their parents, siblings, and teachers. The enduring nature of social reactions easily leads to social isolation. Thus, many children and adults with ID have few friends, even though they may desperately want to be liked. This can set up a vicious circle in which they attempt to win friends by latching onto the least chance for interaction with others. Regarding the characteristics of nonviolent communication program training, it seems that this program could reduce communication problems and improve mother-child interaction of children with ID. The nonviolent communication training program is one method for improvement of communication skills in parents of the children with ID because these parents are often facing problem in communication with their children. Nowadays, much effort is made for improving mother-child interaction, especially in mothers of children with ID. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of nonviolent communication program training on mother-child interaction in mothers of children with ID. Materials & Methods The present research was a quasi-experimental study with pretest-posttest and a control group. The study population included all of the mothers of children with ID who attend to Alborz Educational and Rehabilitation Institute which is located in Alborz Province, Iran under the supervision of welfare organization. The study sample included 30 mothers selected by convenience sampling method and assigned to two groups. The experimental group participated in a communication skills training program based on life language for 8 sessions (90 minutes for per session; twice a week), while the control group received no such training. The study instrument was the Pianta mother-child interaction scale (1992). The Pianta mother-child interaction scale was completed by mothers for all subjects in pretest and posttest. The study data were collected through the questionnaire before and after the training sessions. Multivariate analysis of covariance was performed in SPSS (Version 22) for analyzing the obtained data. Results First, the normality of study variables and contingency of variance and covariance assumptions were tested. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test showed that all variables were normally distributed (P>0.05). Also, the Box test confirmed the contingency of variance-covariance assumption. So, assumptions of the MANCOVA test were confirmed and MANCOVA test can be used for analysis of data. The results of MANCOVA revealed that posttest scores of experimental and control groups had a significant difference with regard to mother-child interaction (P
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The purpose of the investigation was to examine how different self-monitoring orientations would manifest in interpersonal relationship functioning. Protective, but not acquisitive, selfmonitoring was expected to be associated with greater attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Participants completed the Self-Monitoring Scale and the Adult Attachment Questionnaire with respect to romantic partners (Studies 1a, 1b) and the Experiences in Close Relationships - Relationship Structures Scale with respect to mothers, fathers, romantic partners and best friends (Study 2). Across relationship type, those higher in protective self-monitoring expressed more avoidance and anxiety than did those lower in protective self-monitoring. Acquisitive self-monitoring was generally unrelated to attachment anxiety and avoidance. It appears that a self-presentational orientation based on avoiding disapproval contributes to general uneasiness with intimacy and fear of interpersonal rejection.
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This study investigates family conflict talk in a computer-mediated environment from a language-in-interaction focus. It is based on two different data sets of six WhatsApp groups that feature arguing British families, and of six WhatsApp groups that feature arguing Spanish families. It looks at the different linguistic strategies that participants deploy when taking up opposing stances on a given issue. Through a detailed discourse analysis of the conflict-based episodes in English and Spanish, the results not only show a differentiated linguistic process in the way(s) in which the study participants managed conflict, but also suggest that smartphone-mediated interpersonal conflict needs to be understood as an attempt to inhabit legitimate subject positions in and through discourse.
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This study investigates family conflict talk in a computer-mediated environment from a language-in-interaction focus. It is based on two different data sets of six WhatsApp groups that feature arguing British families, and of six WhatsApp groups that feature arguing Spanish families. It looks at the different linguistic strategies that participants deploy when taking up opposing stances on a given issue. Through a detailed discourse analysis of the conflict- based episodes in English and Spanish, the results not only show a differentiated linguistic process in the way(s) in which the study participants managed conflict, but also suggest that smartphone-mediated interpersonal conflict needs to be understood as an attempt to inhabit legitimate subject positions in and through discourse.
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People tend to be overly optimistic when predicting their future behaviors. This research examines how taking someone else’s perspective affects predictions of relationship behaviors. Study 1 (N = 82) showed that taking the partner’s perspective when predicting how many relationship-enhancing behaviors one might perform over the next week reduced the number of predicted behaviors and consequently reduced optimistic bias. Study 2 (N = 244) replicated the reduction in predicted behaviors when taking the partner’s or a friend’s perspective. Study 2 also showed that predictions from another person’s view are similar to predictions for another person’s behavior. Study 3 (N = 149) replicated the reduction in predicted behaviors and the similarity to predictions for other people’s behavior. Furthermore, Study 3 suggests that one reason why adopting another’s perspective affects predictions is an attenuation of the link between forecasts and relationship quality and increase of the link of forecasts with conscientiousness, which tends to be a better predictor of behavior.
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The ‘ÆQUAS’ study is about young adults entering the workforce after vocational training in five different occupations. Participants reported data on working conditions and well-being in the last year of vocational training and after one, two, and four years of professional experience. Both with respect to well-being and working conditions, the transition and the first years in the job were characterized by considerable stability; where there was change, it was mostly for the better. There were, however, differences between occupations. for instance, nurses reported comparatively high levels of stress, low levels of job control and high social support. Changing employer showed, on average, positive effects. Change of profession, however, often resulted in better working conditions but indicators of well-being remained unchanged. Besides levels of stress, social support, and job control, appreciation received at work emerged as a key factor for occupational health. The overall pattern of results indicates that the Swiss system of vocational training prepares well for the transition into ‘normal’ work.
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Intimate partners seeking to influence one another’s health may do so by providing support for positive health behavior and attempting to change negative health behavior (social control). Research findings examining the effectiveness of intimate partners’ attempts to influence health behavior are mixed however, and the purpose of the present research is to examine individuals’ responses to hypothetical health behavior influence attempts by an intimate partner. Specifically, we examine the role of readiness to change, cognitive appraisals, and affective responses to partner change attempts. Undergraduate students (n = 185) who reported infrequent exercise or unhealthy eating habits were asked to respond to a variety of tactics an intimate partner might use to try to change their health behavior. In the first phase of the study, we examine a model wherein individuals’ readiness to change influences their perceptions of, and affective reactions to, attempts to influence health behavior and the subsequent likelihood of making a behavioral change. In Phase 2, we use a within-subjects experimental design to simulate changes in readiness and assess resulting changes to affective and perceptual responses to a variety of hypothetical support and control attempts by an intimate partner. The findings indicate that a comprehensive model that includes readiness to change more fully accounts for variance in how individuals respond to partners’ change attempts. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.
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This study examined the relationship between stress and marital satisfaction from the perspective of the vulnerability–stress–adaptation model. We hypothesised that some stress factors were associated with lower marital satisfaction. Making use of the structure equation modeling, the results of data analysis on 462 Middle Eastern students in Malaysia, supported the hypotheses of our study and showed that a higher level of stress is strongly related to a negative marital satisfaction. Moreover, the results indicated that marital stress is the strongest stressors that negatively affect the marital satisfaction of the respondents. This research provides a general view of stressors that have an impact on the marital satisfaction of married Middle East students who live as sojourners in Malaysia.
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In diesem Beitrag werden verschiedene Definitionen und Operationalisierungen der Konstrukte Beziehungs- und Partnerschaftsqualität und Modelle der Partnerschaftsentwicklung vorgestellt sowie die am weitesten verbreiteten Modelle zum Kernstück von Partnerschaften, der partnerschaftlichen Interaktion. Es folgt eine Abhandlung zum Konstrukt Partnerschaftszufriedenheit, zu den am häufigsten replizierten Antezedenzien der Partnerschaftszufriedenheit bzw. Partnerschaftsauflösung sowie Modellen zur Vorhersage und Erklärung der Partnerschaftserosion (Sound Relationship, bewältigungspsychologischer Ansatz, kontextuelles Modell, kontextuelles Attributionsmodell, Vulnerabilitäts-Stress-Adaptationsmodell, dyadisches Coping). Danach werden kognitions-emotionspsychologische Modelle und Befunde zur Bewältigung von Alltags- und Entwicklungsaufgaben in Partnerschaft en dargestellt sowie ausgewählte Befunde zur Verteilung von Macht, Rollen und Aufgaben. Den Abschluss bilden Befunde und Theorien zur Transmission partnerschaftlicher Interaktion und partnerschaftlichen Konfliktlösens von der Eltern- auf die Kindergeneration, die zeigen, dass problematische Konfliktlösungsmuster nicht nur die Elternbeziehung bedrohen, sondern auch weit reichende Effekte auf angehörige Kinder haben.
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Introduction: Childhood abuse has been linked to greater attachment insecurity in adulthood which has implications for adult romantic relationships. Abuse and attachment may particularly influence attributions of their partner’s behavior. The current study examined adult attachment anxiety and avoidance as mediators linking childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse to attributions in adults currently in a romantic relationship. Method: A sample of 191 adults were recruited (mean age = 29.16, 71% White) and completed an online survey. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the indirect effects linking childhood abuse to attributions using bias corrected bootstrapping. Results: Findings from bootstrapped structural equation modeling indicated that attachment anxiety, but not avoidance, linked child emotional and physical abuse to attributions. Sexual abuse was directly, positively associated with attributions, independent of attachment and physical and emotional abuse. Conclusions: Clinicians may want to target anxious attachment in reducing negative attributions with a focus on how distal experiences of childhood emotional abuse may be impacting attachment security. Emotion focused couple therapy is a recommended intervention.
Article
Two studies were conducted to develop and validate a six-item scale for measuring context-specific attributions regarding the extent to which people either blame or exonerate partners during couples’ conflicts. Context-specific attributions pertain to appraisals made during a single episode of relationship conflict, and the scale was expected to be distinct from existing attribution scales measuring people’s schemas regarding the types of attributions they typically make. Study 1 included 2,452 people in marriage or cohabitating relationships; Study 2 included 172 people in dating relationships, and participants in both studies completed Internet questionnaires. Item response theory was used to create an attribution scale using the fewest number of items to discriminate reliably across the full range of attribution levels. The resulting scale produced an expected pattern of convergent and divergent correlations with other context-specific measures, including two types of underlying concerns and three types of emotion. The context-specific attribution scale explained variance in these criterion variables that could not be explained by other existing scales that assess attributions at the schematic level.
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Um das Sprichwort „Wo die Liebe hinfällt, da bleibt sie liegen“ auf seinen Wahrheitsgehalt hin zu prüfen, werden verschiedene Ansätze zur Entstehung und dem Erhalt von Liebe und Partnerschaft betrachtet. Dabei zeigt sich, dass beim Verlieben der erste Eindruck wichtig ist. Wie dieser ausfällt, hängt von verschiedenen Faktoren ab, die u. a. die Auswahl an potenziellen Partnern eingrenzen. Zu diesen Faktoren zählen sowohl fortpflanzungsfördernde, evolutionsbiologische wie auch soziale Aspekte, so z. B. räumliche Nähe, Attraktivität, Ähnlichkeit und Sympathie. Auch Zufallseinflüsse sind nicht zu unterschätzen. Die hohe Scheidungsrate beweist jedoch, dass nicht jede Liebe und Partnerschaft für immer hält. Dennoch gibt es Erfolgsfaktoren für eine lange Partnerschaft. Diese sind von einer positiven Sichtweise und einem freundschaftlichen Miteinander geprägt.
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While previous studies indicate that personality traits influence the likelihood of divorce, the processes that drive this relationship have yet to be examined. Accordingly, the current study utilized a nationally representative, longitudinal sample (N = 8,206) to test whether relationship satisfaction is a pathway by which personality traits influence relationship dissolution. Specifically, we examined 2 different pathways: the enduring dynamics and emergent distress pathways. The enduring dynamics pathway specifies that the association between personality and relationship satisfaction reflects ongoing relationship dynamics, which are presumed to be stable across a relationship. In contrast, the emergent distress pathway proposes that personality leads to worsening dynamics across the course of a relationship, which is indicated by changes in satisfaction. For each pathway, we assessed actor, partner, and combined effects for the Big Five. Results replicate previous research in that personality traits prospectively predict relationship dissolution. Both the enduring dynamics and emergent distress pathways served to explain this relationship, though the enduring dynamics model evidenced the largest effects. The emergent distress pathway was stronger for couples who experienced certain life events, suggesting that personality plays a role in adapting to changing life circumstances. Moreover, results suggest that the personality of the dyad is important in this process: Above and beyond actor effects, partner effects influenced relationship functioning (although the influence of combined effects was less clear). In sum, the current study demonstrates that personality traits shape the overall quality of one's relationship, which in turn influences the likelihood of relationship dissolution. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Two studies evaluated the concept of an attributional style, as operationalized by the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ). Study 1, with 1,333 undergraduates, examined the reliability and validity of the ASQ and analyzed the factor structure of the measure. Only weak evidence of a cross-situationally consistent attributional style was found. An attempt to identify Ss who tended to be very consistent in their causal attributions on the ASQ similarly did not provide strong support for the attibutional style concept. In Study 2, the relation between scores on the ASQ and causal attributions for actual negative events, as assessed by the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, were examined among 85 pregnant women. Attributional Style scores were poor predictors of actual causal attributions, and selecting highly consistent Ss did not improve the ASQ's predictive validity. Implications for the attributional style concept and an attributional analysis of depression are discussed. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although important theoretically, consistency in attribution responses or attributional style has rarely been investigated empirically. The responses of 150 couples were used to examine whether consistency of attribution responses within attribution dimensions and consistency in the pattern of responses across attribution dimensions were associated with adaptational outcomes. Replicating previous findings, mean attribution scores correlated with depression and with marital distress. Consistency of attribution responses was unrelated to either adaptational outcome, whereas (a) theoretically derived pessimistic and optimistic attribution patterns were related to depression scores and (b) benign and nonbenign marital attribution patterns were related to marital satisfaction scores. The implications of these findings for the level at which attributional stvle is best conceptualized are discussed.
Article
The ability of marital researchers to interpret and build upon previous research has been hindered by a lack of data on the procedures used to recruit subjects. The current studies address this short-coming by examining the effects of different sampling techniques on the samples obtained in marital research. In Study 1, couples recruited through newspaper advertisements were found to be at greater risk for marital discord than couples recruited through marriage licenses, on the basis of demography, premarital experiences, personality, and marital satisfaction. In Study 2, couples who responded to a mailed solicitation were found to be less traditional and of higher status in terms of jobs and education than couples who did not respond, on the basis of data available for all couples from their marriage licenses. Effect-size estimates indicate that sampling technique had greater effects on sample composition than self-selection bias. Based on these findings, five recommendations are made for improving the quality of sampling procedures in marital research.
Article
The dynamics of marital quality is largely unknown. The purpose of this exploratory study is to establish benchmarks which can be used as a basis for understanding the nature and magnitude of fluctuations in marital quality. Drawing on a national sample of married persons interviewed three times over an 8-year period, we found that marital quality is a stable phenomenon that rivals personality characteristics in its consistency. Marital happiness and interaction were both found to decline over time while divorce proneness, problems, and disagreements did not exhibit significant developmental change. We found no sex or duration differences in stability or developmental change. Marital quality appears to be a dyadic property and not something that individuals carry over from one marriage to the next. The implications for these findings are discussed.
Article
Although much has been learned from cross-sectional research on marriage, an understanding of how marriages develop, succeed, and fail is best achieved with longitudinal data. In view of growing interest in longitudinal research on marriage, the authors reviewed and evaluated the literature on how the quality and stability of marriages change over time. First, prevailing theoretical perspectives are examined for their ability to explain change in marital quality and stability. Second, the methods and findings of 115 longitudinal studies—representing over 45,000 marriages—are summarized and evaluated, yielding specific suggestions for improving this research. Finally, a model is outlined that integrates the strengths of previous theories of marriage, accounts for established findings, and indicates new directions for research on how marriages change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study investigated the causal inferences made by maritally distressed and nondistressed spouses regarding their partners' positive and negative behavior. The partners in 32 marital couples rated the most likely cause of hypothesized actions by their spouses on several dimensions, indicated the feeling evoked by each action, and stated what they would do in response to it. For positive acts, the nondistressed group rated inferred causes as more global and controllable, whereas distressed spouses considered the causes more global for negative behavior. Results from both regression and path analyses suggest that affective responses are more important than are causal attributions in predicting behavior. These results are discussed in relation to the emerging literature on cognitive marital therapy, and their therapeutic implications are outlined.
Article
Adult attachment and social cognition perspectives of romantic relationships have developed relatively independently of one another, despite the fact that both stress the importance of cognitive conceptual frameworks of relationship functioning. This study examines the strength of the association between constructs from the two perspectives and their associations with concurrent relationship adjustment and 6-month longitudinal relationship dissolution. Results from 68 dating couples suggested a modest degree of convergence between measures of attachment, relationship beliefs and relationship attributions. Measures of both adult attachment and relationship beliefs and attributions were uniquely related to concurrent relationship adjustment, although between-partner differences on attachment and social cognition measures were largely unrelated to relationship adjustment. The only relationship cognition variable that was predictive of subsequent relationship dissolution was stronger endorsement by women of partner responsibility attributions (i.e. viewing negative partner behavior as blameworthy, intentional and selfishly motivated). These results suggest that attachment and social cognition may offer complementary perspectives of romantic relationships.
Article
Current approaches to analyzing longitudinal data in marital research are limited because they make use of only two waves of data at a time, thus yielding incomplete and potentially inaccurate descriptions of how marriages change, The purpose of this article is to introduce marital researchers to the analysis of individual growth curves. This technique uses multiwave longitudinal data to estimate parameters of change within individuals before accounting for variability in change between individuals, A step-by-step guide to this procedure is presented, followed by a discussion of its advantages and implications for longitudinal research on marriage.
Article
Recently, methodologists have shown how 2 disparate conceptual arenas (individual growth modeling and covariance structure analysis) can be integrated. The integration brings the flexibility of covariance analysis to bear on the investigation of systematic interindividual differences in change and provides another powerful data-analytic tool for answering questions about the relationship between individual true change and potential predictors of that change. The individual growth modeling framework uses a pair of hierarchical statistical models to represent (1) within-person true status as a function of time and (2) between-person differences in true change as a function of predictors. This article explains how these models can be reformatted to correspond, respectively, to the measurement and structural components of the general LISREL model with mean structures and illustrates, by means of worked example, how the new method can be applied to a sample of longitudinal panel data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The measurement of individual change is approached from the standpoint of individual time paths and statistical models for individual change. The authors consider both statistical and psychometric properties of measures of individual change and examine measures of change for data with more than 2 observations on each individual. It is noted that many conclusions conflict with previous behavioral science literature. (63 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Although important theoretically, consistency in attribution responses or attributional style has rarely been investigated empirically. The responses of 150 couples were used to examine whether consistency of attribution responses within attribution dimensions and consistency in the pattern of responses across attribution dimensions were associated with adaptational outcomes. Replicating previous findings, mean attribution scores correlated with depression and with marital distress. Consistency of attribution responses was unrelated to either adaptational outcome, whereas (1) theoretically derived pessimistic and optimistic attribution patterns were related to depression scores and (2) benign and nonbenign marital attribution patterns were related to marital satisfaction scores. The implications of these findings for the level at which attributional style is best conceptualized are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Because empirical associations involving marital distress may be confounded by the presence of marital violence, 2 studies examined the interplay among marital distress, marital violence, and attributions for marital events. Study 1 showed that marital satisfaction was associated with causal and responsibility attributions independently of violence in a sample of 130 husbands. Study 2 demonstrated that the satisfaction-attribution association was independent of violence in a sample of 60 newlywed husbands and also showed that responsibility attributions predicted satisfaction 12 months later when violent husbands were excluded from the sample. These findings support the focus on cognitive variables in recent models of marriage and marital violence.
Article
Seventy-three married couples were studied in 1983 and 1987. To identify marital processes associated with dissolution, a balance theory of marriage was used to generate 1 variable for dividing couples into regulated and nonregulated groups. For studying the precursors of divorce, a "cascade" model of marital dissolution, which forms a Guttman-like scale, received preliminary support. Compared with regulated couples, nonregulated couples had (a) marital problems rated as more severe (Time 1); (b) lower marital satisfaction (Time 1 and Time 2); (c) poorer health (Time 2); (d) smaller finger pulse amplitudes (wives); (e) more negative ratings for interactions; (f) more negative emotional expression; (g) less positive emotional expression; (h) more stubbornness and withdrawal from interaction; (i) greater defensiveness; and (j) greater risk for marital dissolution (lower marital satisfaction and higher incidence of consideration of dissolution and of actual separation).
Article
A brief, simple measure of different types of attributions for partner behavior was examined in 3 studies of married couples. Reliability was established by high internal consistency and test-retest correlations. Causal and responsibility attribution scores correlated with marital satisfaction, attributions for marital difficulties, and attributions for actual partner behaviors generated by spouses. Responsibility attributions were related to (a) reported anger in response to stimulus behaviors used in the measure and (b) the amount of anger displayed by wives during a problem-solving interaction with their partner. The extent to which husbands and wives whined during their discussion also correlated with their responsibility attributions. The results address several problems with existing assessments, and their implications for the measurement of attributions in marriage are discussed.
Article
The current study investigated whether the effectiveness of behavioral marital therapy (BMT) would be increased by the addition of cognitive restructuring (CR) and/or emotional expressiveness training (EET) for maritally distressed couples. Sixty such couples were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 therapists and 1 of 5 treatment conditions (BMT Alone, CR + BMT, BMT + EET, CR + BMT + EET, or waiting list) for 12 weeks of conjoint marital therapy. Within each treatment condition, couples typically improved on the variables focused on in treatment. However, comparisons among active treatment conditions showed few significant differences among treatments; the treatments were equally effective in increasing marital adjustment. Thus, the addition of CR and EET did not appear to increase the overall effectiveness of treatment. Possible reasons for the current findings are provided, and suggestions for future marital outcome investigations are outlined.
Article
We examined whether the association between marital distress and attributions is an artifact of depression. Study 1 showed that the attributions of 40 wives recruited from the community accounted for variance in their marital satisfaction after the effects of depression had been taken into account. Study 2 compared the attributions of 20 clinically depressed and maritally distressed wives (respondents to an advertisement offering therapy for depression and marital problems), 20 nondepressed but distressed wives (clients seeking marital therapy at a clinic), and a control group of 20 nondepressed and nondistressed wives (respondents to an advertisement for participants in a research project). The first two groups did not differ in attributions, but the attributions of both groups differed from those of the control group. Both studies therefore suggest that the association between attributions and marital satisfaction is not due to depression.
Article
Examined attributions for marital difficulties in 18 couples seeking therapy and in 19 couples not seeking therapy; husbands' and wives' average ages were 31.7 and 30.6 yrs, respectively, in the therapy-seeking group and 37.1 and 34.8 yrs, respectively, in the control group. Ss were asked to rate their 2 most important marital difficulties on several dimensions and indicate the extent to which they blamed their spouse for the difficulties. Findings show that distressed spouses were more likely than controls to see their partner and the relationship as the source of their difficulties, perceive the causes of their difficulties as more global, and consider the causes as more reflective of their spouses' negative attitude toward them. Results support the contention that variations in attributional patterns within marriage are related to differences in marital satisfaction. Implications for marital therapy are outlined. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In this study, we examined when and whether married people engage in attributional activity or form causal attributions to explain their partners' behavior. We used an indirect probe to better approximate naturally occurring cognitive activity. We also examined the content of spouses' causal attributions, using both direct and indirect probes. Spouses were asked about frequent as well as infrequent relationship events, and about partner behaviors that had positive or negative impacts on the recipient. Husbands in unsatisfying relationships reported more attributional thoughts than did happily married husbands, whereas wives in the two groups did not differ. Behaviors having negative impacts elicited more attributional activity than did positive behaviors. Behavioral frequency and impact interacted in ways contrary to predictions. Finally, distressed couples were particularly likely to report distress-maintaining attributions and were particularly unlikely to report relationship-enhancing attributions, compared with their nondistressed counterparts.
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