SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Holley, S. R., Haase, C. M., Chui, I., & Bloch, L. (2018). Depression, emotion regulation, and the demand/withdraw pattern during intimate relationship conflict. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 35, 408–430.

Abstract: The demand/withdraw pattern is a detrimental set of communication behaviors in which one partner nags or pressures while the other partner avoids or withdraws. Past studies evaluating the influence of depression on this pattern have shown mixed findings. The present study sought to advance what is known by investigating whether difficulties in emotion regulation mediated the association between depression and the demand/withdraw pattern. A sample of 253 romantic couples participated in an online survey. Data were analyzed using a mediated actor–partner interdependence model framework. Results indicated that the association between an individual’s level of depression and his or her tendency to withdraw while the partner demanded was fully mediated by difficulties in emotion regulation. This study supports the notion that there is a link between depression and the demand/withdraw pattern and further suggests that difficulties in emotion regulation may play an important role in understanding elements of this association.

Journal Article 2: Honeycutt, J. M., Sheldon, P., & Pence, M. (2014). Predicting aggression, conciliation, and concurrent rumination in escalating conflict. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30, 133–151.

Abstract: Interactions are characterized by opposite motives according to game theory. The purpose of this study was to explore how people judge the probability and advisability of conflict reactions in an unfolding dispute within a married couple using latent growth curve modeling (LGCM). Individuals participated in a study using two videotaped scenarios depicting marital conflict in which a spouse comes home after a long day at work only to criticize his or her partner for violating expectations of a good meal. One situation involved male-initiated conflict and female reactance, whereas another illustrated female-initiated conflict and male reactance. Participants were asked to predict the future reactions based on aggressive tactics (e.g., slapping the partner, insulting the partner) or prosocial and forgiving communication (e.g., apologizing, discussing the issue calmly) as well as the use of online, imagined interaction (II) rumination in which individuals replay arguments in their mind as well as thinking about what to say next during the argument. Results of the LGCM revealed support for various hypotheses in which it was predicted that the husband would be more likely to be conciliatory than the wife, and the wife would be more aggressive than her husband. II rumination was initially expected to increase and be advised before reaching a plateau. Findings are discussed in terms of game theory and II conflict-linkage theory.

Journal Article 3: McKinney, C., Walker, C. S., & Kwan, J. W. (2016). Mother-father dyad conflict strategy clusters: Implications for emerging adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Abstract: Research has examined the different parenting styles that are present during emerging adulthood; however, less is known about potential parental conflict strategies that emerging adults may be experiencing during this developmental time period. Conflict strategies are conceptualized in the current study as parents’ efforts to regulate, correct, or enforce a consequence in response to their emerging adult child’s behavior. Previous research on discipline during childhood and adolescence has suggested the use of harsh discipline (e.g., use of physical force) leads to negative outcomes for children. Despite evidence linking harsh discipline methods to harmful outcomes in various developmental periods and suggested influence of parents in emerging adulthood, very little is known about how parents handle conflict with their emerging adult children. Thus, the present study investigated parental conflict strategies and mental health outcomes of emerging adults. Results revealed a significant parent–child gender interaction for non-violent strategies and psychological aggression. Moreover, results indicated that emerging adult children of parents who utilize similar levels of aggressive methods reported greater psychological problems. The findings from the current study underscore parents’ use of conflict strategies when interacting with their emerging adult children, and further emphasize the importance of future research in this area.

Journal Article 4: Wiebe, W. T., & Zhang, Y. B. (2017). Conflict initiating factors and management styles in family and nonfamily intergenerational relationships: Young adults’ retrospective written accounts. Journal of Language & Social Psychology, 36, 368–379.

Abstract: Using a content analytic approach, this study examined young adults’ retrospective written accounts about their perceived communication with family and nonfamily elders in conflict situations to uncover conflict initiating factors and management styles. Results revealed that old-to-young criticism (especially in nonfamily contexts) and competition were the most frequently reported conflict initiating factor and management style in intergenerational relationships. Also, results indicated that family elders’ use of the competing and avoiding styles were reciprocated by young adults.