Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 439–448 | Cite as

Self-Reported Communication Variables and Dating Violence: Using Gottman’s Marital Communication Conceptualization

  • Tara L. Cornelius
  • Ryan C. Shorey
  • Stacy M. Beebe
Original Article

Abstract

Communication behaviors, while extensively studied within the marital field, have received only peripheral attention in violent dating relationships. The purpose of this research was to better establish empirical continuity between the marital and dating literatures by exploring communication variables that have been identified in marital relationships broadly and their self-reported manifestation in violent dating relationships. Using Gottman’s (1999) marital communication conceptualization, individuals were assessed on adaptive and maladaptive communication variables and relationship aggression. Results suggested that negative communication behaviors were associated with, and predicted, aggression in participants’ dating relationships, consistent with findings from the marital literature. However, repair attempts, generally considered an adaptive communication behavior, predicted aggression victimization. Implications and how these data fit within the context of recent research on positive marital communication behaviors are explored.

Keywords

Partner abuse Dating Communication skills 

References

  1. Baucom, D. H., Hahlweg, K., Atkins, D. C., Engl, J., & Thurmaier, F. (2006). Long-term prediction of marital quality following a relationship education program: being positive in a constructive way. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 448–455.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell, K. M., & Naugle, A. E. (2007). Effects of social desirability on students’ self-reporting of partner abuse perpetration and victimization. Violence and Victims, 22, 243–256.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell, K. M., & Naugle, A. E. (2008). Intimate partner violence theoretical considerations: moving towards a contextual framework. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 1096–1107.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Berns, S. B., Jacobson, N. S., & Gottman, J. M. (1999a). Demand/withdraw interaction patterns between different types of batterers and their spouses. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 25, 337–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berns, S. B., Jacobson, N. S., & Gottman, J. M. (1999b). Demand-withdraw interaction in couples with a violent husband. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 666–674.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bookwala, J., Frieze, I. H., Smith, C., & Ryan, K. (1992). Predictors of dating violence: a multivariate analysis. Violence and Victims, 7, 297–311.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, S. L., & Booth, A. (1996). Cohabitation versus marriage: a comparison of relationship quality. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 58, 668–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Capaldi, D. M., Kim, H. K., & Shortt, J. W. (2007). Observed initiation and reciprocity of physical aggression in young, at-risk couples. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 101–111.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Carey, M. P., Spector, I. P., Lantinga, L. J., & Krauss, D. J. (1993). Reliability of the dyadic adjustment scale. Psychological Assessment, 5, 238–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carlson, B. E. (1987). Dating violence: a research review and comparison with spouse abuse. Social Casework, 68, 16–23.Google Scholar
  11. Cate, R. M., Henton, J. M., Koval, J., Christopher, F. S., & Lloyd, S. (1982). Premarital abuse: a social psychological perspective. Journal of Family Issues, 3, 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cordova, J. V., Jacobson, N. S., Gottman, J. M., Rushe, R., & Cox, G. (1993). Negative reciprocity and communication in couples with a violent husband. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 559–564.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Cornelius, T. L., & Alessi, G. (2007). Behavioral and physiological components of communication training: does the topic affect outcome? Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 608–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cornelius, T. L., Alessi, G., & Shorey, R. C. (2007). The effectiveness of communication skills training with married couples: does the issue discussed matter? The Family Journal, 15, 124–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eldridge, K. A., Sevier, M., Jones, J., Atkins, D. C., & Christensen, A. (2007). Demand-withdraw communication in severely distressed, moderately distressed, and nondistressed couples: rigidity and polarity during relationship and personal problem discussions. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 218–226.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Feldman, C. M., & Ridley, C. A. (2000). The role of conflict-based communication responses and outcomes in male domestic violence toward female partners. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships., 17, 552–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Follette, V. M., & Alexander, P. C. (1992). Dating violence: current and historical correlates. Behavioral Assessment, 14, 39–52.Google Scholar
  18. Follingstad, D. R., Bradley, R. G., Laughlin, J. E., & Burke, L. (1999). Risk factors and correlates of dating violence: the relevance of examining frequency and severity levels in a college sample. Violence and Victims, 14, 365–380.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Frye, N. E., & Karney, B. R. (2006). The context of aggressive behavior in marriage: a longitudinal study of newlyweds. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 12–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Gottman, J. M. (1999). The marriage clinic. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  22. Gottman, J. M., Coan, J., Carrere, S., & Swanson, C. (1998). Predicting marital happiness and stability from newlywed interactions. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 60, 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gray, H. M., & Foshee, V. (1997). Adolescent dating violence: differences between one-sided and mutually violent profiles. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 12, 126–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Harper, M. S., & Welsh, D. P. (2007). Keeping quiet: self-silencing and its association with relational and individual functioning among adolescent romantic couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24, 99–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holtzworth-Munroe, A., Smutzler, N., & Stuart, G. L. (1998). Demand and withdraw communication among couples experiencing husband violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 731–743.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Jackson, S. M., Cram, F., & Seymour, F. W. (2000). Violence and sexual coercion in high school students’ dating relationships. Journal of Family Violence, 15, 23–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jezl, D. R., Molidor, C. E., & Wright, T. L. (1996). Physical, sexual and psychological abuse in high school dating relationships: Prevalence rates and self-esteem issues. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 13, 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Johnson, S. M. (2003). The revolution in couple therapy: a practitioner-scientist perspective. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 29, 365–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson, M. P., & Leone, J. M. (2005). The differential effects of intimate terrorism and situational couple violence: findings from the national violence against women survey. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 322–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lawrence, E., & Bradbury, T. N. (2007). Trajectories of change in physical aggression and marital satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 236–247.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Lo, W. A., & Sporakowski, M. J. (1989). The continuation of violent dating relationships among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 30, 432–439.Google Scholar
  32. Luthra, R., & Gidycz, C. A. (2006). Dating violence among college men and women: evaluation of a theoretical model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21, 717–731.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Magdol, L., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Newman, D. L., Fagan, J., & Silva, P. A. (1997). Gender differences in partner violence in a birth cohort of 21-year-olds: bridging the gap between clinical and epidemiological approaches. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 68–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Makepeace, J. M. (1986). Gender differences in courtship violence victimization. Family Relations, 35, 383–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Neufeld, J., McNamara, J. R., & Ertl, M. (1999). Incidence and prevalence of dating partner abuse and its relationships to dating practices. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 125–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nightingale, H., & Morrissette, P. (1993). Dating violence: attitudes, myths, and preventive programs. Social Work in Education, 15, 225–232.Google Scholar
  37. O’Leary, K., Barling, J., Arias, I., Rosenbaum, A., Malone, J., & Tyree, A. (1989). Prevalence and stability of physical aggression between spouses: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 57, 263–268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (2004). Reported affectionate communication and satisfaction in marital and dating relationships. Psychological Reports, 95, 1154–1160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Ro, E., & Lawrence, E. (2007). Comparing three measures of psychological aggression: psychometric properties and differentiation from negative communication. Journal of Family Violence, 22, 575–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Robertson, K., & Murachver, T. (2007). It takes two to tangle: gender symmetry in intimate partner violence. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29, 109–118.Google Scholar
  41. Rogge, R. D., & Bradbury, T. N. (1999). Till violence does us part: the differing roles of communication and aggression in predicting adverse marital outcomes. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 340–351.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Schilling, E. A., Baucom, D. H., Burnett, C. K., Allen, E. S., & Ragland, L. (2003). Altering the course of marriage: the effect of PREP communication skills acquisition of couples’ risk of becoming martially distressed. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 41–53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Shook, N. J., Gerrity, D. A., Jurich, J., & Segrist, A. E. (2000). Courtship violence among college students: a comparison of verbally and physically abusive couples. Journal of Family Violence, 15, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shorey, R. C., & Cornelius, T. L. (2009). Intimate partner violence in marital relationships. In K. S. Pearlman (Ed.), Marriage: Roles, stability, and conflict. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  45. Shorey, R. C., Cornelius, T. L., & Bell, K. M. (2008). A critical review of theoretical frameworks for dating violence: comparing the marital and dating fields. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13, 185–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Simonelli, C. J., & Ingram, K. M. (1998). Psychological distress among men experiencing physical and emotional abuse in heterosexual dating relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 13, 667–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith, D. M., & Donnelly, J. (2001). Adolescent dating violence: a multi-systemic approach of enhancing awareness in educators, parents, and society. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 21, 53–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sousa, C. A. (1999). Teen dating violence: the hidden epidemic. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 37, 356–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: new scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Straus, M. A. (2004). Prevalence of violence against dating partners by male and female university students worldwide. Violence Against Women, 10, 790–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The revised conflict tactics scales (CTS2): development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Testa, M., & Leonard, K. E. (2001). The impact of marital aggression on women’s psychological and marital functioning in a newlywed sample. Journal of Family Violence, 16, 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thompson, J. M. (1995). Silencing the self: depressive symptomatology and close relationships. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 337–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thompson, J. M., Whiffen, V. E., & Aube, J. A. (2001). Does self-silencing link perceptions of care from parents and partners with depressive symptoms? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 503–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Truman-Schram, D. M., Cann, A., Calhoun, L., & Vanwallendael, L. (2000). Leaving an abusive dating relationship: an investment model comparison of women who stay versus women who leave. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 19, 161–183.Google Scholar
  56. White, J. W., & Koss, M. P. (1991). Courtship violence: incidence in a national sample of higher education students. Violence and Victims, 6, 247–256.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tara L. Cornelius
    • 1
  • Ryan C. Shorey
    • 2
  • Stacy M. Beebe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGrand Valley State UniversityAllendaleUSA
  2. 2.University of Tennessee—KnoxvilleKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations