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ERIC Number: EJ928503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0011-0000
The Power of Touch: Nonverbal Communication within Married Dyads
Smith, Joann C. Seeman; Vogel, David L.; Madon, Stephanie; Edwards, Sarah R.
Counseling Psychologist, v39 n5 p764-787 Jul 2011
Researchers have suggested that one function of touch in mixed-sex interactions is to exert influence over another person. Yet theories offer different explanations as to when women and men will use touch as an influence strategy. The gender politics hypothesis proposes that men touch more as a way to maintain inequalities present in society. In turn, the dyadic power theory proposes that both women and men will touch more depending on their goals in a given situation. The person initiating a topic of disagreement is more likely to touch in order to try and influence the other person to agree with his or her position. However, researchers have rarely examined the different assertions of these theories within intimate relationships. The present study, with 67 married heterosexual couples, was designed to provide an initial test of these theories. The authors focused on four types of touch across two problem-solving topics: one chosen by each spouse. Consistent with the dyadic power theory, results indicated that when couples discussed topics chosen by wives, wives exhibited more touches. However, no differences in these forms of touch emerged when couples discussed topics chosen by husbands. Implications for marital counseling and research are discussed. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A