Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 61–67 | Cite as

Brief Report: Young Adult Women Resolving Interpersonal Conflicts

  • Patricia Flynn Weitzman


Little is known about the social cognitive development of young adults. Furthermore, existing studies of young adults tend to rely on college-age participants. A study of social cognition during interpersonal conflict was conducted with 100 young adult women (mean age = 25 years). The relationship of contextual variables to conflict-resolution strategy was examined. Strategy coding was done according to Selman's (1980) four-level model of interpersonal negotiation strategies. Of the features of context studied, the nature of the relationship between the participant and the other person (work-based, personal, or impersonal) was related to strategy use. Most strategies used (46%) were low-level unilateral strategies, e.g., giving in to the demands of the other person. Most participants reported conflicts at work. These data, taken with other research on young adults' perceived lack of ability at handling conflicts at work, suggest that constructive conflict management programs may be important for young adult women in the school-to-work transition.

interpersonal negotiation strategies young adulthood social cognition conflict resolution 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Flynn Weitzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division on AgingHarvard Medical SchoolBoston

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