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Marital Communication


This is an About.com expert guide on marriage. It provides a variety of links about various aspects of marital communication. The moderators for the list are Sheri and Bob Stritof.

The RELATE Questionaire

This self-assessment was developed at Bringham Young University by the Marriage Study Consortium. it is a diagnostic for examining communication issues about marriage. A credit card is needed to pay the nominal fee for doing the survey.

Marriage Support

This site describes itself as online learning community for solving marriage problems, improving relationship skills, celebrating marriage, and achieving happiness with your partner. Of special note are several relationship quizzes that examine issues of marital communication.

Marital Status and Longevity in the United States

This research study by Kaplan and Kronick suggests that being married increases one's life expentency.

The Marriage Toolbox

This online magazine features issues related to marriage from planning the nuptials to dealing with the communication issues that couples face.

Marriage Matters

This Website by Joshua Kates examines relational issues in marriage from a counselor's perspective. Note especially some of the online essays.

National Marriage Project

This is the home page from Rutgers University for the National Marriage Project. The surveys and studies done by this orgzanization tack trends in marriage and divorce as well as attitudes about marriage. From the page for research reports, you can download copies of the reports developed by the insititute, including its state of our unions reports for each of the last two years.

For Better, For Worse: Marriage Means Something Different Now

Stpehanie Coontz examines changes in attitudes toward marriage in a piece published by the Washington Post issue of May 1, 2005. She observes: "The origins of modern marital instability lie largely in the triumph of what many people believe to be marriage's traditional role -- providing love, intimacy, fidelity and mutual fulfillment. The truth is that for centuries, marriage was stable precisely because it was not expected to provide such benefits. As soon as love became the driving force behind marriage, people began to demand the right to remain single if they had not found love or to divorce if they fell out of love."

Welcome to the Love Lab. John Gottman and Cybil Carrere. Psychology Today, September-October 2000 v33 i5 p42

This is a piece from Psychology Today about the work of John Gottman and his research about marriage. Gottman found that the communication climate that marital partners create is a vital predictor of marriage success or failure.

Communication and decision-making styles, power base usage, and satisfaction in marital dyads. Virginia P. Richmond, James C. McCroskey and K. David Roach. Communication Quarterly, Fall 1997 v45 n4 p410(17).

This research focused on use of power, decision-making and communication styles of spouses in marital dyads, and the level of marital satisfaction of the partners in these relationships. Drawing primarily on previous work involving Management Communication Style and decision-making styles in organizational and instructional communication contexts, but also examining directly relevant work within the marital context. InfoTrac.

Marital uncertainty and childbearing. Scott M. Myers. Social Forces, June 1997 v75 n4 p1271(19).

This study, guided by the Uncertainty Reduction Theory of Parenthood (Friedman, Hechter & Kanazawa 1994), examines how marital solidarity and uncertainty affect the odds of having a child. The analyses do not support the idea that couples who lack marital solidarity and are unhappy with their marriages use childbearing as a strategy to increase solidarity and, in turn, reduce marital uncertainty. Instead, the dominant pattern is that a solid marriage and comparability between spouses encourage parenthood and higher-order childbearing. The results are also discussed in terms of economic and normative theories of fertility. InfoTrac.

Adaptation in Lasting Marriages. Richard A. Mackey and Bernard A.O'Brien. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, Nov 1999 v80 i6 p587.

This paper is based on research that explored how 120 spouses from a sample of 60 white, African American, and Mexican American marriages adapted over the life span of their relationships which included the early years prior to children, the child-rearing years, and the empty-nest years. Important dimensions of these relationships - conflict and its management sexuality, intimacy, decision-making and satisfaction - were explored in semi-structured interviews with each spouse. Understanding how spouses adapt over the life span of their relationships has important implications for prevention programs and for practice. InfoTrac.

The Science of a Good Marriage. Psychology Today, Sept 1999 v32 i5 p13.

This brief article summarizes points developed by John Gottman, author of the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. This summary highlights the importance Gottman places on friendship between couples as a key to good marital communication. InfoTrac.

The Expression of Emotion in Later-life Married Men.
Fran C. Dickson; Kandi L. Walker. Communication Quarterly, Wntr 2001 v49 i1 pS66(6)

The purpose of this qualitative interpretative study is to increase our understanding of later-life men in marriage. This study interviewed twenty older married couples on their relational stories and various issues that had arisen in their marriages. The analysis of these story-tellings revealed higher levels of expression, politeness, and openness among the husbands as compared to their wives. InfoTrac.

Men's Orientation Toward Marriage and Family Roles. Peter J. Smith and Roderic Beaujot. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Summer 1999 v30 i3 p471.

Starting with the theoretical notion that gender can be seen as a schema that imposes structure and meaning, this paper explores the diversity in men's orientations regarding marriage and family roles. The responses from a qualitative survey in Southwestern Ontario shows variation between traditional and liberal orientations in terms of men's views on the extent to which women prefer child care over work. However, men from various orientations largely consider it appropriate to make distinctions between the family roles of men and women. Most respondents are in some kind of intermediate category between traditional and modern orientations, where the contradictions, which affect women more than men, arc unevenly recognized. InfoTrac.

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Copyright, 2000-05 by Terrence A. Doyle, Ph. D.
Feedback to tdoyle@nvcc.edu