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Communication, Conflict Coping and Marital Satisfaction—Analysis of Couple Data
Abstract This study aimed to explore the relationships among couple’s communication, conflict coping and marital satisfaction, and this study used dyadic analysis to understand how expressive communication and withdrawing behavior of conflict coping affect different dimensions of marital satisfaction with various demographic characteristics. The subjects of this study consisted of 247 married couples selected from ENRICH data pool of “PREPARE/ ENRICH Taiwan” and the statistical procedures implored for secondary analysis include descriptive statistics, Pearson product- moment correlation and regression, etc. The major results can be drawn as follow: 1. This study focused on the expressive behavior of couple’ communication and the withdrawing behavior of conflict coping. The status quo of couples’ expressive communication was well and their withdrawing behavior was above average. 2. Education, length of marriage, numbers of children and spouse’ communication were significant predictors of couple’s expressive communication. Husbands with higher education and more children and wives with a longer length of marriage exhibited more expressive communication. Couple’ expressive communication was also affected by their spouses’ expressive communication. Gender and education were significant predictors of withdrawing behavior. Men reported more withdrawing behaviors than that of women and wives with lower education tended to have more withdrawing behavior in conflict situation. 3. The multiple-dimensional marital satisfactions included personality, financial management, trust, sexual relationship, parenting, family and friends, coordination, and religion. In average, the highest dimensions of couple’s marital satisfactions were “religion” and “coordination,” and the lowest dimensions were “parenting” and “personality.” 4. Gender, education, employment, length of marriage, numbers of children, expressive communication and withdrawing behavior were significant predictors of marital satisfactions, but the predictors of different dimensions of marital satisfaction were not completely the same. Men were more satisfied with their marriage than women in “personality,” “trust” and “parenting.” The higher the education level of the wives, the more satisfied they were with “financial management” and “trust.” And the higher the education level of the wives, the husbands were found to report higher satisfaction in “financial management” and “family and friend.” Husbands, whose wives were employed, were more satisfied with “personality,” and wives, whose husbands were employed, tended to have lower “trust” satisfaction. Husbands with more children also have a lower satisfaction in “trust.” Additionally, couples with longer lengths of marriage were more satisfied with “personality,” “financial management,” “parenting” and “family and friends.” 5. Couple’s expressive communication was the most predictive factor to all dimensions of marital satisfaction. Withdrawing behavior was found as not only a negative predictor, but also a positive predictor in some of the dimensions of marital satisfaction. The more withdrawing behavior the husbands had, the lower marital satisfactions on their “personality” and their wives’ “sexual relationship” and “family and friends” were. However, the more withdrawing behavior exhibited by the couple, the higher their marital satisfactions of “parenting” and “coordination.” 6. The husband and the wife had significant different evaluations about their marriage, especially in “trust” and “parenting” marital satisfaction. 7. Length of marriage, dyadic difference of expressive communication and dyadic difference of withdrawing behavior were significant predictors of dyadic difference of marital satisfaction. Compared to the ones who had been married over 16 years, the couples who had been married under 5 years had more dyadic differences of marital satisfaction in “family and friends,” and the couples who had been married for 6-10 years had more dyadic differences of marital satisfaction in “parenting,” “family and friends” and “coordination.” The more diverge the couple’s expressive communication was, the more dyadic differences of marital satisfaction in “family and friends” and “coordination” they had. The more diverge the couple’s withdrawing behavior was, the more dyadic differences of marital satisfaction in “family and friends” they had. Based upon the results, concrete suggestions are made for marital education program and further studies.
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