Communication and Conflict in Marital Dyads: A Personal Construct Approach

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A typology of marital dyads derived from Kelly's (1955) Personal Construct Psychology was used to investigate the communicative behaviors of married companions. Four groups based on Kelly's Commonality (dyadic similarity) and Sociality (dyadic understanding) corollaries were contrasted: similar-understanding, dissimilar-understanding, similar-misunderstanding, and dissimilar-misunderstanding couples. It was expected that dyadic understanding would contribute more to self-disclosure, cooperative involvement, and marital satisfaction than dyadic similarity. Furthermore, it was anticipated that couples high in understanding and low in similarity would represent optimally functioning couples, as evidenced by disclosure, satisfaction, and involvement with each other. Sixty-three married couples who had known each other at least ... continued below

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v, 190 leaves

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Loos, Victor Eugene August 1986.

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  • Loos, Victor Eugene

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A typology of marital dyads derived from Kelly's (1955) Personal Construct Psychology was used to investigate the communicative behaviors of married companions. Four groups based on Kelly's Commonality (dyadic similarity) and Sociality (dyadic understanding) corollaries were contrasted: similar-understanding, dissimilar-understanding, similar-misunderstanding, and dissimilar-misunderstanding couples. It was expected that dyadic understanding would contribute more to self-disclosure, cooperative involvement, and marital satisfaction than dyadic similarity. Furthermore, it was anticipated that couples high in understanding and low in similarity would represent optimally functioning couples, as evidenced by disclosure, satisfaction, and involvement with each other. Sixty-three married couples who had known each other at least two years completed questionnaire items assessing demographic variables, marital satisfaction (Dyadic Adjustment Scale) and self-reported communication behaviors (Partner Communication Inventory, Dyadic Disclosure Inventory). Each spouse also completed an 8 X 8 Repertory Grid and predicted the mate's responses on the Rep Grid. Subjects then participated in three different audio-taped discussion tasks (an informal conversation, a consensus decision-making task, and a role-played conflict-resolution scene) which were rated for avoidant, competitive, and cooperative responses, as well as overall self-disclosure. Although understanding facilitated disclosure in conflict situations and similarity fostered marital satisfaction, communicative behaviors generally reflected the joint influence of both similarity and understanding. Dissimilar-understanding couples were intensely involved with each other and freely disclosed, but were not highly satisfied. Similar-understanding couples were the most content and had the greatest sense of validation as a couple. Similar-misunderstanding couples restricted their relationship by attempting to avoid expected confrontations. Dissimilar-misunderstanding couples viewed themselves in a socially desirable light, tried to maintain congenial, nonintimate interactions, and were moderately contented. Implications for therapeutic programs, for Kelly's theory, and for future research were discussed.

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v, 190 leaves

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  • August 1986

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • April 18, 2016, 1:15 p.m.

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Loos, Victor Eugene. Communication and Conflict in Marital Dyads: A Personal Construct Approach, dissertation, August 1986; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332170/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .