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Sex Roles

, Volume 47, Issue 9–10, pp 403–417 | Cite as

The Authenticity of Conflict Resolutions Among Adult Couples: Does Women's Other-Oriented Behavior Reflect Their True Selves?

  • Kristin D. Neff
  • Susan Harter
Article

Abstract

In this study we examined how men and women typically resolve conflicts with relationship partners (by meeting the self's need, the other's need, or through compromise) and the authenticity of resolutions and their relation to psychological health. Data were collected using a questionnaire given to 251 men and 251 women (aged 18–75 yrs) who were in heterosexual relationships. Results showed that most women (but not men) who resolved conflicts by meeting their partners' needs rather than their own thought that this was inauthentic behavior that they adopted to avoid negative repercussions from their partners. For all participants, inauthenticity and a lack of partner validation was linked to poorer psychological health. Results suggest that women's other-oriented relationship behavior does not necessarily stem from the authentic self.

gender-roles interpersonal conflicts authenticity 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristin D. Neff
    • 1
  • Susan Harter
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of TexasAustin
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of DenverDenver

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