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Effective interactions: Communication and high levels of marital satisfaction


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Of all the significant relationships in the lives of human-beings, the marital relationship remains one of the most central and important to their well-being. For this rapid review the authors accessed four online databases (PsycINFO, PsychARTICLES, JSTOR Journals, and ScienceDirect) to examine the evidence on aspects of communication which contribute to high levels of marital satisfaction and to synthesise these findings. The search yielded 103 unique articles, of which 15 were ultimately included. Principal results found the following activities to relate to high marital satisfaction: 1) communication activities such as engaging in small talk and providing verbal and non-verbal messages of affection; 2) “positive” exchanges which include any interactions perceived by both parties as constructive; 3) effective conflict management including the use of responses of recalibration and reaffirmation (R-R response), the use of we-pronouns, and the Listener-Speaker technique; 4) possessing and implementing effective communication skills such as using “I” instead of “you” messages; and 5) using “positive” communication skills such as clarification to elicit “positive” affect such as feeling understood. The evidence suggests that mental health professionals working with married couples should seek to promote quality dyadic communication as part of treatment interventions.
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Journal of Psychology in Africa
ISSN: 1433-0237 (Print) 1815-5626 (Online) Journal homepage:
Effective interactions: Communication and high
levels of marital satisfaction
Kobus du Plooy & Ronél de Beer
To cite this article: Kobus du Plooy & Ronél de Beer (2018) Effective interactions: Communication
and high levels of marital satisfaction, Journal of Psychology in Africa, 28:2, 161-167, DOI:
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Published online: 14 May 2018.
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Journal of Psychology in Africa, 2018
Vol. 28, No. 2, 161–167,
© 2018 Africa Scholarship Development Enterprize
Journal of Psychology in Africa is co-published by NISC (Pty) Ltd and Informa UK Limited (trading as Taylor & Francis Group)
Of all the significant relationships in the lives of human-
beings, the marital relationship remains one of the most
prevalent and important to their well-being (Bloch, Haase,
& Levenson, 2014). This is partly explained by the fact
that an optimal marital relationship not only fulfils a
need for bonding. Additionally, a marital relationship
is characteristically an intimate, trusting relationship
where married couples love and care for each other,
and which creates a profound sense of connection and
belonging (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2014; Compton,
2005; Hindman, 2015). Marital satisfaction refers to “the
degree to which an individual’s needs, expectations, and
desires are being satisfied in their marriage – a subjective
condition which can only be described by the individual
spouse, an individual’s personal overall evaluation of his
or her marriage” (Erhabor & Ndlovu, 2013, p. 5 487).
Married couples, who share mutual high levels of marital
satisfaction, report lower levels of stress, are better able
to cope with adverse living conditions, and tend to have
higher levels of social support as compared to divorced
individuals (Canel, 2013; Shoko, 2011). Additionally,
marital satisfaction strongly correlates with physical
health and personal well-being; for example it has been
found that married South African women have a mortality
advantage over single, widowed, and divorced females
(Iafrate, Bertoni, & Donate, 2013; Shoko, 2011).
Effective marital communication skills positively
correlate with marital satisfaction and are considered to be
of great importance to happily married couples (Brown &
Brown, 2002; Carroll, Hill, Yorgason, Larson, & Sandberg,
2013; Eğeci & Gençöz, 2006; Vorster, 1981; Malouff,
Mundy, Galea & Bothma, 2015). A possible explanation
for this may be that factors such as love, commitment, and
trust are expressed to the other party by means of various
modes of communication (Stearns, 2014).
Alternatives to the heterosexual marital relationship
that are commonly found in societies also include (but are
not limited to) cohabitating heterosexual relationships,
same-sex relationships, same-sex marriages, and
polyamory (Light & Omori, 2013). The choice of which
of the aforementioned relationship options (or potential
others) individuals may choose to engage in with a life
partner, may be inuenced by a multitude of factors such
as their personal orientation towards marriage. Since so
many alternatives exist, it would be nearly impossible to
evaluate all of them for the purpose of a single study.
Marital dissatisfaction is a major cause for divorce
(Li & Fung, 2011). This is also true in the South African
context. According to the Annual Report of the Department
of Justice there was a 28% increase of divorces between
2012 and 2013, while the number of newly registered
marriages had declined during this period (Statistics
South Africa, 2012). Fincham, Stanley, and Beach (2007)
reported that too much research emphasis has been placed
on marital conict. There is need for a scoping review to
summarise the evidence on communication aspects that
are important for promoting marital satisfaction among
couples. As such, this rapid review aimed to summarise
preeminent research on aspects of communication which
relate to high levels of marital satisfaction. A rapid
systematic review aims to provide a summary of what
Effective interactions: Communication and high levels of marital satisfaction
Kobus du Plooy1,* and Ronél de Beer2
1Institute of Psychology & Well-being (IPW), School for Psychosocial Health, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus,
South Africa
2Community Psychosocial Health (COMPRES), School for Psychosocial Health, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus,
South Africa
*Corresponding author email:
Of all the significant relationships in the lives of human-beings, the marital relationship remains one of the most
central and important to their well-being. For this rapid review the authors accessed four online databases (PsycINFO,
PsychARTICLES, JSTOR Journals, and ScienceDirect) to examine the evidence on aspects of communication which
contribute to high levels of marital satisfaction and to synthesise these findings. The search yielded 103 unique articles,
of which 15 were ultimately included. Principal results found the following activities to relate to high marital satisfaction:
1) communication activities such as engaging in small talk and providing verbal and non-verbal messages of affection;
2) “positive” exchanges which include any interactions perceived by both parties as constructive; 3) effective conflict
management including the use of responses of recalibration and reaffirmation (R-R response), the use of we-pronouns, and
the Listener-Speaker technique; 4) possessing and implementing effective communication skills such as using “I” instead
of “you” messages; and 5) using “positive” communication skills such as clarification to elicit “positive” affect such as
feeling understood. The evidence suggests that mental health professionals working with married couples should seek to
promote quality dyadic communication as part of treatment interventions.
Keywords: communication, marital satisfaction, marital therapy, rapid review
du Plooy & de Beer
is already known about a particular topic, but does so
within a shorter format (Grant & Booth, 2009) with the
aim of providing guidelines to practitioners in the eld
(Schünemann & Moja, 2015).
For the present review, we retrieved articles from the
following databases: PsycINFO, PsychARTICLES,
JSTOR Journals, and ScienceDirect. The search was
independently performed by both researchers and a North-
West University librarian, who was consulted to assist
in the process. According to Grant and Booth (2009)
the techniques which may be applied to shorten the
timescale in a rapid review include the utilisation of less
sophisticated and more restricted search strategies, as was
done in this case.
The following keywords were used in the search:
(communicat*) OR (interact*) OR (listen*) AND (marital
satisfaction) OR (marital well-being) OR (marital quality)
OR (marital happiness) AND marriage. NOT child* OR
adolescent. Keywords were also followed by an asterisk
(*), which allowed the search engine to include different
variations of the keyword, therefore ensuring that all
relevant data could be extracted. Boolean operators such
as AND, OR, and NOT were also used to help clarify the
Articles relating to communication and high levels of
marital satisfaction from peer reviewed journals extracted
met the following inclusion criteria: entries from 2005
until 2015; articles that focused on high marital satisfaction
and communication skills; participants aged 18 years and
older; full text peer reviewed articles; articles written in
English; articles which reported on primary empirical data;
only articles where quantitative measures were used to
research marital satisfaction and communication skills; and
only articles which included sample sizes of eight or more.
Articles published before 2005, published in
conference proceedings, and reviews which utilised
mixed-method approaches were excluded. In addition,
the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
guidelines (NICE, 2012) were utilised for study quality
control. Furthermore, the authors further applied a Cohan’s
Kappa rating for inter-researcher consensus agreement on
studies that were included for the analysis. Only studies
with a substantial coder agreement of at least 0.7 were
included (see also Viera & Garret, 2005). The search
initially yielded 103 articles, of which 15 were nally
included. Figure 1 presents the search strategy approach
and inclusion/exclusion criteria. Table 1 provides a
summary of the 15 included articles.
For the summary of findings, the authors utilised thematic
analysis for systematic literature reviews recommended
by Dixon-Woods, Agarwal, Jones, Young, and Sutton
(2005). Accordingly, the following steps were followed:
prominent themes were first identified after which findings
of different studies were summarised under thematic
headings (Dixon-Woods et al., 2005).
Results and discussion
The following themes emerged from the included articles:
communication activities; positive exchanges; effective
interaction during conflict; essential communication
skills; and communication skills in relation to affect. These
themes and related studies are discussed below.
Communication activities
Four studies refer to both communication behaviour and
activities interchangeably, which relate to high marital
satisfaction (Dainton, 2015; Thompson-Hayes & Webb,
2008; Weger, 2005; Zarch, Marashi, & Raji, 2014).
Findings suggest married couples to utilise enacted
communication behaviour in order to assist them in
maintaining a positive interpersonal relationship. This
includes the following activities: having fun and being
playful; verbal and non-verbal expressions of affection;
spending time together; talking every day; encouraging
each other; displaying caring gestures; and avoiding
behaviour which may potentially irritate the other party
(Thompson-Hayes & Webb, 2008). Communication
activities such as small talk, giving support, and gaining
compliance were also reported to be related to relationship
satisfaction (Weger, 2005). The same results emerged in
another study which reported that spending more time
together also led to the opportunity to talk more regularly
(Zarch et al., 2014).
“Positive” exchanges
Four studies reported “positive” communication exchanges
between married couples to enhance marital satisfaction
(Cornelius & Alessi, 2007; Hanzal & Segrin, 2009;
Johnson, Cohan, Davila, Lawrence, Rogge, Karney, &
Bradbury, 1995; Verhofstadt, Buysse, Ickes, De Clercq,
& Peene, 2005). According to these studies “positive”
exchanges generally refer to any interactions between
Electronic databases searched
PsycINFO (n = 72)
PsycARTICLES (n = 18)
JSTOR Journals (n = 8)
ScienceDirect (n = 5)
Excluded n = 60
Titles screened for relevance
n = 103
Excluded n = 23
Abstracts screened for relevance
n = 43
Excluded n = 5
Full text screened for quality
n = 20
Final number of studies included
n = 15
Figure 1. Search flow chart
Communication and high marital satisfaction 163
Table 1. Data extraction from articles included in the study
Study, methodology & aim Sample characteristics and measurements Core findings
James, 2015.
To examine the difference in trajectories
of women’s marital quality over the life
10 waves of data from the National
Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979, born
between 1957 and 1964
N = 2 604.
Annual questionnaires between 1979 and
Results emphasise the fundamental
contribution of demographic and
socio-economic characteristics on
Dainton, 2015.
To examine the degree to which both
positive and negative maintenance
communication predict marital
N = 90 in interracial marriages, who were
recruited via SurveyMonkey’s audience
53 males and 36 females, one participant
failed to report sex. The average age of
participants was 44.9 years old.
One relational partner completed an
online survey. Norton’s Quality Marriage
Index was used to measure satisfaction,
maintenance and commitment. Stafford
and Canary’s six-item commitment scale
was used to measure commitment
Results indicated that 52% of variance
in satisfaction was predicted by four
maintenance activities.
Bloch et al., 2014.
To study the relationship between marital
satisfaction and emotion regulation.
82 middle aged, married couples, USA.
3 waves of data obtained from a set of
questionnaires and laboratory studies over
the course of a 13-year longitudinal study.
Wives benefited from down-regulating
negative emotions when in a conflict
situation, which points to the constructive
communication used by wives as a
mediating pathway.
Zarch, et al., 2014.
To examine various components of
emotional intelligence and its relationship
to marital satisfaction as observed in three
different economic classes.
159 Isfahanian couples.
Bar-on Emotional Intelligence (1997) and
Enrich Marital Satisfaction (1989).
Across all classes general mood was seen
to be the most effective factor for changing
marital satisfaction.
Yoshimura, 2013.
To examine the extent to which the use of
various response strategies relates to levels
of marital quality and work-family life
154 couples in the United States aged 20
to 67.
Two response strategies, namely:
the denial-distortion response and
recalibration-reaffirmation were
significantly related to work-family life
Lavner & Bradbury, 2010.
To test three distinct hypotheses.
464 newlywed spouses (5 trajectory
groups were identified)
8 self-report of satisfaction, laboratory
sessions and interviews over 4 years.
Distinct patterns were identified regarding
relationship satisfaction.
Ross, 2010.
To examine whether highly satisfied
couples also have high rates of
forgiveness, as reported by themselves.
Three couples that have married, divorced,
and remarried the same partner.
60-item Enright Forgiveness Inventory
(EFI) and the Spanier Dyadic Adjustment
Scale (DAS).
Forgiveness was found to be a primary
factor in high marital satisfaction and
served as a differentiating factor for
Hanzal & Segrin, 2009.
To investigate the role of negative affect
and conflict styles on marital satisfaction
as found in newly wedded couples.
194 couples who have been married 1.61
years on average.
Positive and Negative Affect Scale
(PANAS); Conflict Resolution Styles
Inventory (CRSI); and the Marital Quality
Index (MQI).
This study emphasised the impact of
communication processes in marital
relationships on a dyadic level. Negative
affectivity was found to be related to one’s
own marital satisfaction.
Lawrence et al., 2008.
To study the interactive behaviour that
emerges at the start of relationships and
how these behaviours predict patterns of
marital satisfaction.
101 couples aged 18 to 55.
Questionnaires including the Marital
Adjustment Test (MAT) and the
Relationship Domains Inventory (RDI), as
well as laboratory sessions.
Couple behaviours were related to initial
rates and levels of change in satisfaction,
emphasising the unique contributions
of various relational skills on the
development of the marital relationship.
Thompson-Hayes & Webb, 2008.
To investigate the agreement between the
conceptualisation of commitment theory
of marital commitment and marital dyads’
lived experience.
17 marital dyads, mean age 50 years old;
17 in-depth semi-structured interviews
Strong support was found for the
conceptualisation of communication
maintenance behaviour (the extent to
which marital dyads successfully employ
specific interaction activities to sustain,
repair and redefine their relationship).
du Plooy & de Beer
married couples which are perceived by both members to
be constructive and effective. Hanzal and Segrin (2009)
emphasise the importance and implications of partners
engaging in such “positive” exchanges, in order to enhance
marital satisfaction.
Effective interactions during conflict
Six studies reported on the significance of effective
communication in reframing conflict situations (Bloch et
al., 2014; Cornelius & Alessi, 2007; Dainton 2015; Hanzal
& Segrin, 2009; Simmons, Gordon, & Chambless, 2005;
Yoshimura, 2013); including the responses of recalibration
and reaffirmation (R-R response), using we-pronouns,
and the Listener-Speaker technique (Cornelius & Alessi,
2007; Simmons et al., 2005; Yoshimura, 2013). Responses
of R-R refer to an attitude change which focuses on the
optimistic perspectives of the relevant tensions. The use
of the R-R response was significantly related to a lower
level of overall work-family conflict. Marital partners who
made use of the technique, whereby they framed conflict in
an optimistic perspective, found their marital relationship
to be attributed with pleasant affect (Yoshimura, 2013).
Findings suggest the use of we-focused pronouns to be
associated with marital satisfaction with effective problem-
solving (Simmons et al., 2005). Other communication
skills found to be related to high marital satisfaction during
conflict situations include active engagement, constructive
communication, communication skill, down-regulation of
negative emotions, and effective problem solving (Bloch
et al., 2014; Dainton, 2015; Hanzal & Segrin, 2009;
Yoshimura, 2013). Married couples found it easier to
manage tensions in their relationships when they were able
to actively engage with each other and gain some sense of
control over the stressor (Yoshimura, 2013).
Essential communication skills
Three studies reported couples with essential
communication skills to have high marital satisfaction
(Lawrence, Pederson, Bunde, Barry, Brock, Fazio, &
Dzankovic, 2008; Simmons et al., 2005; Verhofstadt et al.,
2005). These essential skills refer to a number of specific
communication skills. Firstly, the use of the “I” pronoun
was seen to have a particularly beneficial effect, since
the partners who utilised this pronoun reported higher
levels of marital satisfaction (Simmons et al., 2005).
Secondly, couples providing mutual validation (agreeing,
approving, accepting responsibility, and complying);
facilitation (assent and affectionate touch); emotional
support (expressing care, reassuring, consolidation, and
understanding); and instrumental support (suggesting
a specific plan, offering assistance, and constructive
feedback) were all reported to contribute to marital
Study, methodology & aim Sample characteristics and measurements Core findings
Cornelius & Alessi, 2007.
To experimentally investigate the Speaker-
Listener technique on marital satisfaction
and communication behaviour while
couples discuss a topic within or outside
their marriage.
30 couples.
Self-report measures: Marital Adjustment
Test (MAT); direct behaviour
observational data-interaction Coding
System, plus heart rate monitors to record
physiological data.
The Speaker-Listener technique was found
to reduce negativity but did not increase
positivity during marital interactions.
Johnson et al., 2005.
To examine the predictive power of
specific skills and affective expressions
on marital satisfaction as coded from
problem-solving interactions between
172 newlywed couples from Los Angeles.
Interactions were examined in relation
to 8-wave, 4-year trajectories of marital
A robust interaction was found between
negative skill and positive affect.
Verhofstadt, et al., 2005
To study the similarities and differences
that emerged in couples’ interaction
behaviour and interaction-based cognitions
in both conflict and support interactions.
53 Belgian couples.
Laboratory experiments (marital
interaction Coding System. IV); self-report
measures; Dyadic Adjustment Scale
(DAS) and online cognition by means of a
7-point rating scale.
Substantial similarities and differences
were found between conflict and support
Weger, 2005.
To investigate the relationship between
self-verification and communication in
53 couples, USA.
Communication Patterns Questionnaire
(CPQ); Feelings of Understanding/
Misunderstanding Scale (FUMS); and
Quality Marriage Index (QMI).
Gender differences were observed by
the degree to which self-verification
influences marital satisfaction. When one
partner withdraws from conflict the other
partner feels less validated.
Simmons et al., 2005.
To determine whether the number of ‘self’
and ‘other’ pronouns used during problem-
solving discussions were indicative of
marital health.
59 couples, where one spouse in each
couple had a psychiatric diagnosis.
The Kategoriensystem Fur
Partnerschaftliche Interaktion (KPI) was
used to code dyadic interactions.
Text analysis was carried out using the
LIWC computer system program, Dyadic
Adjustment Scale (DAS).
The use of rst-person singular pronouns
had a positive association with marital
Table 1. Data extraction from articles included in the study (cont.)
Communication and high marital satisfaction 165
satisfaction. Utilising these classes of behaviours in
support and conflict interactions were found to increase
the recipient’s level of marital satisfaction (Verhofstadt
et al., 2005). As indicated, validation can also be utilised
in conflict situations; therefore, this can also fall under
the theme of effective conflict interaction. Thirdly,
interactional skills as well as communication and conflict
management (as indicated at the time when partners got
married) predicted early marital satisfaction (Lawrence et
al., 2008).
Communication skills in relation to affect
Two studies considered the importance of focusing on
skill and affect in the communication process in order to
improve marital satisfaction (Johnson et al., 2005; Lavner
& Bradbury, 2010). Specifically, the communication effect
on a partner depends on how it is said (skill and affect
codes) rather than the mere content of it (Johnson et al.,
2005). Affect codes of the “how” part of communication
may be “positive” (such as humour and interest) or
“destructive” (such as anger and sadness). Skills codes
can be “positive” (such as clarification and agreement)
and “destructive” (such as devaluations and disagreements
during problem-solving interactions) (Johnson et al.,
Previous research found “positive” and “negative”
affect codes and “positive” and “negative” skills codes to
predict rates and levels of change in marital satisfaction
(Johnson et al., 2005). These “positive” skills and affect
codes include the expression of affection, interest/
enthusiasm, and humour. “Positive” skills and affects may
eradicate the “otherwise detrimental effects observed when
high levels of negative skills and low levels of positive
skills are delivered with little positive affect” (Johnson et
al., 2005, p. 25).
These ndings are consistent with those of related
studies done in South Africa that also found related
communication skills, such as collaborative conict
management and positive communication relations, to be
strong predictors of high marital satisfaction (Erhabor &
Ndlovu, 2013; Greeff & De Bruyne, 2000). However, these
studies did not meet the inclusion criteria of the present
rapid review and were therefore not included.
Implications for practice
The findings from this rapid review highlighted the
important role of the “how” rather than the “what” of
communication and constructive interactions during
conflict situations in promoting high levels of marital
satisfaction. This information may be used by professionals
when treating couples to promote their marital satisfaction
by emphasising effective communication with an emphasis
on the “how” as part of treatment interventions.
The ndings indicate the importance of communication
activities such as frequent talking, spending time together,
and supporting each other to promote high levels of marital
satisfaction. One explanation for this may be that married
couples’ cognitive appraisal of the time spent together in
joint activities is seen as an investment that a partner is
making in the marriage. This investment is then likely
to be seen as a form of conrmation, which will result
in an experience of higher subjective levels of marital
satisfaction (Johnson & Anderson, 2013). Furthermore,
effective communication exchanges result in so-called
“positive sentiment override.” Weiss (1980) originally
coined the term which states that if couples have an overall
content and salient relationship, they may be inclined to
overlook detrimental elements when confronted with
a conict interaction. In such instances, so to speak, the
advantages of remaining in the relationship outweigh the
The ndings also highlight the importance of
“positive” interactions during conflict situations.
Specically, displaying “positive” interactions in conict
situations related to high levels of marital satisfaction,
most likely through mutual attribution of greater
“positive” affect to their relationship (Yoshimura, 2013).
The balance theory (Gottman, 1993, as cited in Doohan,
2013) further proposes that couples can enjoy satisfying
marriages, permitting that their “positive” to “negative”
exchange ratio of communication is 5:1 during conict
situations. Moreover, the expression of accurate empathy
can be associated with “positive” problem solving in
conict situations, as empathic partners are better able
to understand the viewpoint of their partners and are
consequently able to address conict in a more effective,
pro-social manner (Perrone-McGovern, Oliveira-Silva,
Simon-Dack, Lefdahl-Davis, Adams, McConnell, &
Gonçalves, 2014). Thus, communication skills and affect
appear to have a two-way inuence on each other so that
the degree of an individual’s mental health is directly
related to the quality of their interpersonal relationships
(Vorster, 2011).
Limitations of the study
The findings from this rapid review are limited by the
underrepresentation of studies from the African continent
in which the predominant cultures are strongly paternalistic
and familial. Second, the research sampled studies on
heterosexual partners and therefore findings may be
different with alternative marital types. Nonetheless, we
hope that the findings of this study provide a baseline
summary to benchmark future related studies.
Communication skills play an integral role in married
couples’ levels of marital satisfaction. From this rapid
review, it is clear that effective communication in marital
relationships plays a crucial role in promoting high
levels of marital satisfaction. In addition to effective
communication, other factors such as the quality of time
spent together, optimal problem solving, and conflict
management skills also promote high levels of marital
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... The second hypothesis was that stress communication would have positive actor effects (path c1 and c2) and partner effects (path d1 and d2) on communication satisfaction. Research has established the link from positive communication styles and patterns to relationship satisfaction and the indirect effect of the apprasial of the partner's communication on relationship satisfaction via emotional intimacy (Askari et al., 2012;Haris & Kumar, 2018;du Plooy & de Beer, 2018;Yoo et al., 2014;Zhaoyang et al., 2018). The third hypothesis was that communication satisfaction would predict the relationship satisfaction of oneself (path e1 and e2) and the partner (path f1 and f2). ...
... The partner effects of communication satisfaction on relationship satisfaction for men and women were non-significant. These findings are in line with the previous findings that positive communication skills and patterns were positively correlated to relationship satisfaction (Askari et al., 2012;Haris & Kumar, 2018;du Plooy & de Beer, 2018;Zhaoyang et al., 2018). Spouses who appraise communication as positive and feel satisfied with their communication are likely to have greater relationship satisfaction (Anderson & Emmers-Sommer, 2006;Yoo et al., 2014). ...
Past research has revealed positive effects of stress communication by oneself and by the partner on relationship satisfaction. However, the mechanisms through which stress communication by oneself and by the partner influence relationship satisfaction have not been well studied. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of one's own and the partner's stress communication on relationship satisfaction and the mediating roles of one's own and the partner's communication satisfaction in these associations. A total of 227 unmarried heterosexual couples were recruited. An actor-partner interdependence mediation model was used to examine the hypothesized relationships. The results showed that the actor effects of stress communication on relationship satisfaction were mediated by the actor effects of communication satisfaction. Moreover, the indirect effect of male stress communication on female relationship satisfaction through female communication satisfaction was found to be significant. These findings provide insights into the mechanism through which stress communication influences relationship satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... Ondanks de positieve ervaringen van ouders en de toename in self-efficacy in het ouderschap, werd in huidige studie geen significante verandering gevonden in de partnerrelatie en het piekergedrag van de deelnemers. Enerzijds is dit verassend, want uit onderzoek blijkt bijvoorbeeld dat als ouders effectief kunnen omgaan met conflicten en positieve communicatievaardigheden gebruiken, dit zorgt voor meer tevredenheid met de partnerrelatie 20 . Anderzijds kan deze stabiliteit als een positieve uitkomst geïnterpreteerd worden. ...
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Inleiding: De geboorte van een kind zorgt vaak voor een afname in relatietevredenheid. OuderTeam is een preventieve interventie met als doel aanstaande ouders voor te bereiden op het ouderschap en hun relatie te versterken. In de huidige studie werd een online variant van OuderTeam tijdens de Covid-19 pandemie geëvalueerd. Methode: De data is verzameld in een online vragenlijstonderzoek. De scores op partnerrelatie en het mentaal welzijn van vaders en moeders vóór en na de interventie werden vergeleken middels gepaarde t-toetsen (N = 62). De ervaringen van deelnemers werden uitgevraagd middels een pre- en postnatale evaluatievragenlijst en zijn op een beschrijvende manier geanalyseerd. Resultaten: Vaders en moeders hadden na deelname aan de interventie meer self-efficacy in het ouderschap. Gemiddeld genomen gaven de deelnemers OuderTeam een rapportcijfer 8,5. Twee positieve aspecten kwamen naar voren: 1) de onderlinge gesprekken die partners met elkaar voerden, en 2) de interactie en het uitwisselen van ervaringen met andere ouders. Conclusie: Deze studie levert de eerste aanwijzingen dat een online variant van OuderTeam goed wordt ontvangen door de deelnemers. Aanbevolen wordt om de effectiviteit van OuderTeam verder te onderzoeken door middel van een controlled trial onder een meer diverse groep ouders.
... According to Plooy and Beer (2018), affection in marital relationships can be defined and expressed differently through verbal and non-verbal languages. For instance, the concept of an intimate relationship differs from one partner concerned with financial, a partner raising a family, one founded on emotional support, another concerned with forming a deep relationship and the one sharing intimate time together. ...
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Language is essential for marital functioning and contentment. Conversely, couples in heterosexual monogamous intercultural marriages may experience exceptional challenges emanating from conveying or interpreting messages based on divergent cultures that influence their marital satisfaction. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of language on marital satisfaction among couples in intercultural marriages in Kiambu County, Kenya. Bowen Family System Theory (BFST) and Cognitive Behavioral Theory guided this study. Convergent mixed methods research design was applied in the study. The target population was 11,028 individuals in intercultural marriages with a sample size of 99 participants. Snowball sampling was helpful to recruit participants for the study. Data was collected using questionnaire that adapted relevant items from The Five Love Languages Test (FLL). Quantitative data was analysed through descriptive statistics of means and standard deviation. Inferential statistics applied linear and multiple regression computed through SPSS version 25.0. Qualitative data was thematically analysed. Findings were presented in tables and respondents’ descriptions. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from accredited Institutional Review Board, National Council for Science and Technology and Kiambu County Government, Kenya. Findings of the study revealed that language has a positive, significant influence on marital satisfaction (β=0.872, p=0.000). This implies that an increase in marital language positively increases marital satisfaction by 0.872. Participants descriptions equally supported language influence on marital satisfaction. The study recommends that policy makers develop strategies that increase awareness of the importance of mental health services. The study also recommends further research by mental health professionals on the influence of language on couples’ marital satisfaction to attain comprehensive understanding which is crucial for couples’ marital management that boosts satisfaction.
... Communication skills were not significantly associated with relationship satisfaction in long-term relationship, which is consistent with the findings from the only other study to date that has investigated this association using the AQ to measure communication skills (Birt, 2015). It is possible that the communication skills measured by the AQ (i.e., the ability to engage in social conversations), may not be as relevant to relationship satisfaction as the communication of support for a partner (e.g., du Plooy & de Beer, 2018). This provides a potential avenue of research on the different types of communication and their link to relationship satisfaction. ...
Autistic individuals have reported lower satisfaction in their romantic relationships compared to non-autistic individuals. Previous research on the factors that contribute to relationship satisfaction within autism has focused on the characteristics of autistic participants as barriers to relationship satisfaction, while overlooking the role of their partners. This study investigated a range of factors and their association with long-term relationship satisfaction for 95 autistic individuals and 65 non-autistic individuals in current or previous long-term relationships with autistic individuals. Participants completed an online survey, including questionnaires measuring autistic traits, the Big Five personality traits, social loneliness, partner responsiveness, sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. Partner responsiveness significantly predicted relationship satisfaction for both autistic and non-autistic partners. The findings suggest that to enhance relationship satisfaction, service providers working with couples involving an autistic individual would improve the relationship by focusing on assisting their clients to identify each other’s needs and how best to meet them. Lay abstract Previous research has found that autistic people report lower satisfaction in their romantic relationships compared to non-autistic people. However, the majority of this research has focused on autistic traits as barriers to relationship satisfaction, while overlooking the role of their partners in these relationships. Our study explored a range of factors in both autistic people and non-autistic partners of autistic people and how they may be linked to long-term relationship satisfaction. These factors included social and communication skills, personality traits, social loneliness, partner responsiveness, and sexual satisfaction. We found that partner responsiveness was a strong predictor of relationship satisfaction for both autistic and non-autistic partners, suggesting that rather than focusing intervention solely on the autistic person, the role of their partner should also be considered. Service providers who work with couples involving an autistic person to enhance their relationship satisfaction could focus on assisting their clients to identify each other’s needs and how best to meet them.
... Dinamika ini membutuhkan proses adaptasi bagi pasangan, usia perkawinan menjadi salah satu factor yang dapat mempengaruhi kemampuan beradaptasi, semakin lama usia perkawinan maka cenderung komunikasi semakin baik sehingga mampu beradaptasi dengan baik dan menghilangkan segala prasangka dan kesalahpahaman dalam komunikasi suami isteri (Saidiyah & Julianto, 2016). Komunikasi menjadi unsur penting dalam pernikahan, komunikasi yang baik dapat menentukan kualitas pernikahan (Lavner dkk., 2016); (Plooy & Beer, 2018). ...
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Hubungan suami-isteri adalah hubungan yang harus dijaga dengan baik karena Islam mengajarkan dan memerintahkan demikian. Kepercayaan (trust) dan keterpercayaan (trustworthiness) menjadi bagian dari faktor penentu keberlangsung rumah tangga. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui lebih dalam bagaimana konsep dan dinamika trust dan trustworthiness dalam relasi pasangan suami isteri generasi milenial muslim. Melalui metode penelitian kualitatif dengan pendekatan contructive realism menunjukkan hasil bahwa trust dan trustworthiness merupakan dua aspek yang saling berkaitan dan mempengaruhi keutuhan rumah tangga yang dibangun oleh pasangan milenial muslim. Pasangan milenial muslim perlu membangun kepercayaan dan menjadi pasangan yang terpercaya diperlukan kepribadian baik, komunikasi terbuka, kemauan untuk percaya, tidak adanya permasalahan dan lama kebersamaan. Satu tindakan negatif seperti berbohong atau selingkuh dapat menyebabkan pasangan kurang percaya dan berpotensi menyebabkan munculnya masalah dalam hubungan suami istri.
Objective The objective of the study is to examine the efficacy of relationship investment tactics in improving relationship satisfaction. Background Physical and mental health are affected by the quality of the couple relationship. Accordingly, bolstering the couple relationship and enhancing relationship satisfaction is of crucial importance for both partners' well‐being. Using relationship investment tactics may represent a behavioral solution for elevating the quality of the couple bond as well as their satisfaction from their relationship. Method A cross‐sectional research design was adopted. The associations between demographic characteristics, relationship investment tactics, and relationship satisfaction were tested using a path analysis. Results Employing tactics of emotional gestures, material and instrumental gestures, giving space, and shared activities were found to be positively associated with relationship satisfaction. Using tactics of sex and self‐beautification and helping the partner's family and friends did not entail heightened satisfaction. Conclusion Relationships can be improved and transformed by employing relationship investment tactics described in this research report. Implications The results indicate that behavioral tactics and patterns, which are easy, simple, and usually free, may be employed to enhance relationship satisfaction. Couple therapists may consider advising clients as to how to prevent relationship decline and helping clients when encountering relationship difficulties by employing these relationship investment tactics.
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This chapter explores the commonalities and differences in hope between Spanish ( N = 206 ) and South African ( N = 100) samples based on data collected with the Hope Barometer in November 2018. Furthermore, we investigate similarities and differences in the sources of hope between the two samples, as reflected in the activities that people engage in to fulfil their hopes and to attain the hoped-for targets (hope activities). Finally, we examine these activities as predictors of hope. Since hope is an important predictor of flourishing, we also analyze the predictive power of hope and its dimensions on flourishing in both samples, using two different measures and conceptualizations of hope (perceived hope and dispositional hope). Finally, we explore the role of sociodemographic indicators as predictors of hope and flourishing. Our results indicated that South African participants had higher levels of hope than the Spanish sample. We also found differences and commonalities in terms of endorsement of specific hope activities. The results indicated that perceived hope was a strong predictor of flourishing in both samples, supporting the idea that perceived hope may be a universal motivational need applicable across cultures. These findings highlight the need to carry out more cross-cultural studies on hope and paves the way for further cross-cultural understanding of this important human resource.
Training couples is one of the ways to enrich their relationships. The present research set out to study the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral marital skills training on positive feelings toward spouse and interpersonal trust of married women. This quasi-experimental study used the pretest–posttest design with the control group. The statistical population of this paper was all married women who were visiting an educational center in Arak, Iran. Questionnaires were given to 70 married women. Thirty-nine attendees scored lower than average. Thirty out of 39 participated in the study voluntarily. O'Leary et al. positive feelings toward spouse questionnaire and Gorge and Swap Interpersonal Trust Questionnaire were used to collect data. The training course was held in 10 sessions of 90 min 2 times per week for the experimental group. The results of covariance analysis showed that the scores of the positive feelings toward spouse and interpersonal trust in the experimental group had increased significantly after training ( P<.05) compared to the control group. Cognitive-behavioral marital skills training seems to be an appropriate intervention to improve positive feelings toward spouse and interpersonal trust of married women. Therefore, couple therapists, psychologists, and educators can use cognitive-behavioral marital skills training for couples and people about to get married.
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Objective This study evaluated family of origin adversity and later marital satisfaction, and the possible moderating role of relational communication ability of husbands and wives. Background Family of origin adversity, including parental marital conflict, has a significant negative relationship with offspring's marital decisions, dynamics, and outcomes. Because people with family of origin adversity cannot change their past experiences, studying moderating factors could be helpful for couples' marital satisfaction. Method This study examined dyadic data from the Couple Relationships and Transition Experience (CREATE) study, a nationally representative sample of 1,471 newlywed couples in the United States. The study employed an actor–partner interdependence model to evaluate communication as a moderator for links between family of origin adversity and relationship satisfaction. Results The study confirmed the negative relationship between family of origin adversity and subsequent marital satisfaction for actors and partners for both husbands and wives. Further, the study found that relational communication ability by either partner offset negative links between wives' family of origin adversity and husbands' martial satisfaction, but not wives' martial satisfaction. Conclusion This study confirmed the salience of family of origin adversity as couples establish new marriages. It also highlighted the value of communication as a possible path toward intervention regarding negative experiences from a family of origin, particularly when considering connections between wives' family of origin adversity and husbands' relationship satisfaction. Implications This research suggests couple communication may be a valuable tool with application for couples, family life educators, and couple therapists as they help couples successfully navigate difficulties from their families of origin.
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This study investigated the extent to which positive and negative maintenance communication predicted marital satisfaction and commitment in a sample of 90 individuals in an interracial marriage. An interdependence theory approach was used. Participants completed an online survey using SurveyMonkey's audience request. Results of a regression equation indicate that four maintenance activities predicted 52% of the variance in satisfaction, with two being negative predictors (infidelity and avoidance) and two being positive predictors (conflict management and social networks). Three maintenance behaviors predicted commitment, with infidelity and giving advice being negative predictors and the use of social networks being a positive predictor. Finally, consistent with interdependence theory, marital satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between maintenance activity and commitment.
Background The limitations of traditional forms of systematic review in making optimal use of all forms of evidence are increasingly evident, especially for policy-makers and practitioners. There is an urgent need for robust ways of incorporating qualitative evidence into systematic reviews. Objectives In this paper we provide a brief overview and critique of a selection of strategies for synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence, ranging from techniques that are largely qualitative and interpretive through to techniques that are largely quantitative and integrative. Results A range of methods is available for synthesising diverse forms of evidence. These include narrative summary, thematic analysis, grounded theory, meta-ethnography, meta-study, realist synthesis, Miles and Huberman's data analysis techniques, content analysis, case survey, qualitative comparative analysis and Bayesian meta-analysis. Methods vary in their strengths and weaknesses, ability to deal with qualitative and quantitative forms of evidence, and type of question for which they are most suitable. Conclusions We identify a number of procedural, conceptual and theoretical issues that need to be addressed in moving forward with this area, and emphasise the need for existing techniques to be evaluated and modified, rather than inventing new approaches.
In this study, the process of developing the Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS) aiming to support studies in the field of marital satisfaction and to obtain information about couples in a short time through psychological counseling is discussed. The scale including 101 yes-no items aiming to reveal couples' opinions about their marriages was designed in parallel with similar scales developed abroad for similar purposes. The scale is comprised of two parts. The first part contains 92 items related to the sub-dimensions of the marital satisfaction. On the other hand, the second part of the scale dealing with the effect of "understanding of parenting" on the marital satisfaction includes 9 items to be responded by individuals with children. In the process of developing the scale, 341 people were given the whole scale and 270 people who have children were given the second part of the scale to carry out the statistical calculations. As a result of the item total, item remaining and discriminant analysis of the scale, the results were found to be significant at the level of p<.001. Through Cronbach α, Spearman Brown and Guttman Split-Half techniques, reliability values between r=.93 and .97 were found. The reliability values of the part of the scale administered to people with children about "understanding of parenting" was found to be between r=.81 and .86. The factor analysis revealed that the first sub-dimension of the scale assesses the "marital harmony" which is comprised of the "relationship happiness", "conflict" and "closeness" sub-scales. Other sub-dimensions are "anger", "communication with the spouse's family ", "economic understanding", and "understanding of parenting".
Most studies of union formation focus on short-term probabilities of marrying, cohabiting, or divorcing in the next year. In this study, we take a long-term perspective by considering joint probabilities of marrying or cohabiting by certain ages and maintaining the unions for at least 8, 12, or even 24 years. We use data for female respondents in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to estimate choice models for multiple stages of the union-forming process. We then use the estimated parameters to simulate each woman's sequence of union transitions from ages 18-46, and use the simulated outcomes to predict probabilities that women with given characteristics follow a variety of long-term paths. We find that a typical, 18 year-old woman with no prior unions has a 22 % chance of cohabiting or marrying within 4 years and maintaining the union for 12+ years; this predicted probability remains steady until the woman nears age 30, when it falls to 17 %. We also find that unions entered via cohabitation contribute significantly to the likelihood of experiencing a long-term union, and that this contribution grows with age and (with age held constant) as women move from first to second unions. This finding reflects the fact that the high probability of entering a cohabiting union more than offsets the relatively low probability of maintaining it for the long-term. Third, the likelihood of forming a union and maintaining it for the long-term is highly sensitive to race, but is largely invariant to factors that can be manipulated by public policy such as divorce laws, welfare benefits, and income tax laws.
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.
In Study 1, 103 adults involved in an exciting romantic relationship described how they keep their relationship exciting. The responses provided the foundation for a new model of how couples keep their relationship exciting. The model includes exciting activities that are passionate, adventurous, playful, sexual, spontaneous, and romantic, along with three relationship-maintaining activities: communicating effectively, joint activities, and autonomy. In Study 2, 104 adults rated their relationship on the three relationship-maintenance variables, on exciting activities, on excitement, and on relationship satisfaction. The relationship-maintenance and exciting activities showed significant associations with both excitement and satisfaction, providing preliminary support for the model.