I’m working on a other question and need an explanation to help me learn.
Read though the Communication in Society article and answer the follow questions.
- Can Communication Styles Predict Divorce?
- Does the length of the relationship play a part?
Use, bold AND define 2 key terms from Ch. 2 in your answer.
- 5 points for answering all questions in 5-7 sentences
- 5 points for using 2 key terms, defining the terms and bolding termS
The results of a national research project found that the patterns spouses use to communicate when a conflict arises may have a bearing not only on the quality of their relationship, but on whether the couple ends up divorcing early in the marriage.
Everyone assumes that aggressive conflict behaviors like yelling and insulting the other party can lead to divorce. However, Dr. Kira Birditt, a professor at the University of Michigan, wanted to see if less dramatic conflict behaviors (e.g., keeping quiet, leaving the argument) and even constructive behaviors (e.g., calm discussion, listening) might cause a marriage to end in divorce.So she, along with a team of researchers, conducted a study examining the conflict communication patterns in the marriages of over 500 African American and White heterosexual couples over a period of 16 years. They asked the wives and husbands to describe their conflict behaviors during disagreements at different times during the 16 years. From time to time, the couples filled out questionnaires (separately) and were also interviewed by the researchers separately and together. The researchers also gathered divorce statistics on the couples.They found that, indeed, conflict behaviors have important implications for divorce. As expected, husbands and wives reporting greater constructive conflict behaviors had lower divorce rates and those who used more destructive behaviors (e.g. shouting, insulting the other) had higher divorce rates.However, they also found a particularly toxic pattern that, while seemingly less destructive, actually has damaging effects on the longevity of the marriage.That is, when one spouse deals with conflict constructively (e.g. calmly discussing the situation, listening to their partner’s point of view, or trying hard to find out what their partner is feeling) and other spouse withdraw—the end result is higher divorce rates. This is somewhat similar to the demand-withdrawal pattern described in this chapter.It seems that if one spouse attempts to solve relationship problems with constructive behaviors, such as finding solutions, but the other spouse prefers to solve problems by leaving the situation, the spouse who uses constructive behaviors may perceive their partner’s withdrawal as a lack of investment in the relationship and ultimately also loses interest.Birditt and her team also found that conflict behaviors had similar effects on divorce for both Black and White couples, and that over time, wives were less likely to use destructive strategies or withdraw, whereas husbands’ conflict behaviors remained stable. They speculate that it may be that relationships are more important to wives, who may realize over time that destructive and withdrawal behaviors are not good for the marriage, so they tend to accommodate and reduce their use of these unproductive behaviors.