Personal Resource Differences Between Partners, Conflict-Resolution Communication Behaviors, and Dyadic Satisfaction
Frey, Rebecca Ismart
Epstein, Norman B
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This study investigated the relationship between partners' relative resources, their communication behaviors, and dyadic satisfaction. The impact of gender on partner resource discrepancy and communication was examined as was communication as a mediator between partners' relative resources and dyadic satisfaction. Secondary analyses were conducted on data collected from 88 couples who sought therapy at a university-based clinic. No significant differences across relative income groups were identified for communication behaviors. Females with relatively equal educational attainment as their partners used more constructive communication than females whose partner had greater educational attainment. No other differences were identified across relative educational attainment groups. Correlations between communication behaviors and dyadic satisfaction were found. Communication behavior did not mediate partners' relative resources and relationship satisfaction. The study underscores the importance of communication behaviors in couple relationships and contributes to knowledge on impacts of resource disparities between partners on relationship functioning.