The Differential Association Between Change Request Qualities and Resistance, Problem Resolution, and Relationship Satisfaction

Danielle M. Mitnick, Richard E. Heyman, Jill Malik, Amy M Smith Slep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although research supports the negative sequelae of the "demand/withdrawal" pattern, research is scant on the impact of "nondemanding" change requests (e.g., specific, increasing, "we" requests). We hypothesize that such change requests will be associated with less partner withdrawal/resistance, better problem resolution, and greater relationship satisfaction. Seventy-two conversations between couples who were recruited through random digit dialing were coded for change request qualities. Results indicate that wife specific and "we" requests led to less husband resistance, and husband increasing and "we" requests led to less wife resistance. Greater percentages of wife and husband specific and "we" requests were related to better problem resolution in the conversation, and greater percentages of wife specific and "we" requests were related to greater wife satisfaction. Research and clinical implications are detailed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-473
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

Keywords

  • change request
  • couples' communication
  • problem resolution
  • relationship satisfaction
  • withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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