Presentation on theme: "Predicting Marital Happiness and Stability From Newlywed Interactions Gottman, J. M., Coan, J., Carrere, S., & Swanson, C. (1998). Predicting marital happiness."— Presentation transcript:
Predicting Marital Happiness and Stability From Newlywed Interactions Gottman, J. M., Coan, J., Carrere, S., & Swanson, C. (1998). Predicting marital happiness and stability from newlywed interactions. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60, 5-22.
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Introduction Clients of marital therapy have a high relapse rate and consumers of therapy rated marital therapy lower than any other form of treatment. Gottman and his colleagues suggest that this might be because marital therapy "is not based on a process model derived from longitudinal studies of what real couples do that predicts if their marriages will wind up happy, stable, unhappy and stable, or end in divorce.”
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson "Dysfunctional" Models of Marital Processes Two Models of Affect: Anger as a Destructive Emotion Versus the "Four Horseman" Anger as a destructive emotion: è "Anger is destructive to a relationship, no matter what its form" (from Hendrix, 1988, p. 147). è Research does not seem to support this assertion. The "Four Horseman": è Four process predict divorce: criticism, defensiveness, contempt stonewalling (listener withdrawal) è Subsequent research added the following process: belligerence
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson "Dysfunctional" Models of Marital Processes (cont.) Affect, Power, and Gender Negative reciprocity and models of power: if one partner is negative (e.g., angry), their partner is likely to respond negatively. Negative start-up: è Definition: escalation of conflict from neutral for one partner to negative from the other. è Women are more likely to start conflict discussions. è "The gender specific hypothesis here is that marriages will work to the extent that women soften their start-up by not escalating from neutral to negative affect" (p. 7).
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson "Functional: Models of Marital Processes The Active Listening Model The most common approach to marital treatment. A speaker-listener exchange. De-escalation Models: if one partner is negative, the other partner de-escalates to a neutral level. Positive Affect Models: positive affect (e.g., humor, affection, interest) de- escalates marital conflict. Balance Models There is a balance between negative and positive exchanges. Stable marriages: 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative exchanges.
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson "Functional: Models of Marital Processes The Potential Importance of Physiological Soothing for the Male Hypothesis: men and women respond differently to negative affect. Men are more likely to withdraw emotionally in the presence of negative affect. It has been suggested that there is a biological difference between the sexes.
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Discussion No support for the model of anger model. Instead, contempt, belligerence, and defensiveness were the destructive patterns during conflict resolution. The active listening model: It occurred infrequently during conflict resolution; It did not predict marital outcome. Conclusion: "The active listening model is a more confrontational model in the sense that it expects people to be empathetic in the face of negative affect directed at them by their spouse. … we are led to the hypothesis that the active listening model may be expecting a form of emotional gymnastics from people who, at that moment in their relationship, are somewhat emotionally disabled by conflict" (pp. 17-18).
Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson Happy, Stable Couples Softened start-up by the wife. The man accepted influence from his partner. The man de-escalated low-intensity negative affect. The woman used humor to soothe her partner. The man was likely to use positive affect and de-escalation to soothe himself.