ERIC Number: ED230868
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep-10
Reference Count: 0
Coping with Marital Problems: Assessing Effectiveness.
Menaghan, Elizabeth G.
Little evidence exists about either the short or long-term effects of coping strategies on the reduction of emotional distress or the lessening of problems. To examine the predictors and effectiveness of four marital coping efforts (negotiation, optimistic comparison, selective ignoring, and resignation), data derived from a panel study of 758 married adults interviewed in 1972 and again in 1976 were analyzed. Results showed that the level of current marital problems was strongly predictive of coping strategies: people with more problems were less likely to attempt negotiation or to make optimistic comparisons, and more likely to try selective ignoring and resignation, which increased ongoing distress and had little direct impact in either direction on later problem level. Negotiation did not reduce feelings of distress, but was associated with fewer problems later. Optimistic comparison was associated with both lower distress and fewer problems later. The strong link between problem level and choice of coping efforts suggests a worsening spiral of marital experience over time. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Negotiation Processes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (77th, San Francisco, CA, September 6-10, 1982). Appendix A is of marginal reproducibility.