ERIC Number: ED249419
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Affect and Causal Attribution in Marital Conflicts: An Exploratory Study.
White, David M.
Recent attempts to predict marital success or failure have explored the explanations couples offer for interpersonal events. To investigate whether positive and negative affect would lead to different causal attributions in a conflict-resolution conversation, 20 married couples were asked to observe a conflict-resolution and a control conversation in which they had engaged. They were asked to segment a videotape for both conversations whenever anything occurred that affected them positively or negatively. Among those segments the most positive and negative events were replayed, and causal attributions for self and for partner were collected. Results indicated that behaviors were seen as positively-motivated in those segments when spouses reported negative affect. Further, behaviors were seen as positively-motivated during conflict-resolution conversations as opposed to control conversations. Wives viewed their behaviors in negative segments as intended, indicating that they accepted responsibility for contributing to negative exchanges. Husbands in better marriages perceived their behavior in negative segments of conflict conversations as intended and negatively-motivated. Thus, self-blame may be related to satisfaction in husbands but to dissatisfaction in wives. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (56th, Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984).