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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Sep;65(3):494-511.

Perceptions of marital interaction among black and white newlyweds.

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University of Professional Studies, Irvine, California 92714.


Perceptions of marital interactions were gathered from a representative sample of urban newlywed couples (199 Black and 174 White). A factor analysis of the reports found 6 factors common to husbands and wives: Disclosing Communication, Affective Affirmation, Negative Sexual Interaction, Traditional Role Regulation, Destructive Conflict, and Constructive Conflict. Avoiding Conflict was specific to men and Positive Coorientation was specific to women. Wives reported fewer constructive and more destructive conflict behaviors. Compared with Whites, Blacks reported more disclosure, more positive sexual interactions, and fewer topics of disagreement. They also more often reported leaving the scene of conflict and talking with others more easily than with the spouse. As hypothesized, perceptions that marital interactions affirm one's sense of identity strongly predicted marital well-being. Although regression analyses predicting marital happiness yielded few interactions with race or gender, those that are significant, coupled with race and gender differences in perceiving interaction, suggest taking a contextual orientation to the meaning of marital interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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