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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991 Jun;59(3):458-63.

Communication, conflict, and psychological distance in nondistressed, clinic, and divorcing couples.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


This study compared communication patterns and conflicts over psychological distance in 25 nondistressed couples, 15 clinic couples, and 22 divorcing couples. Data consisted of questionnaire reports completed independently by husbands and wives. The two distressed groups, compared with nondistressed couples, had less mutual constructive communication, more avoidance of communication, more demand/withdraw communication, and more conflict over psychological distance in their relationships. In addition, the divorcing group had less mutual constructive communication than the clinic group and evidenced a trend for more conflict over psychological distance than the clinic group. Consistent with past research, wife demand/husband withdraw communication was more likely across all groups than husband demand/wife withdraw communication. Results are discussed in terms of skills deficits and incompatability models of marital discord.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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