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Although much has been learned from cross-sectional research on marriage, an understanding of how marriages develop, succeed, and fail is best achieved with longitudinal data. In view of growing interest in longitudinal research on marriage, the authors reviewed and evaluated the literature on how the quality and stability of marriages change over time.(More)
To examine whether spouses' attributions for events in their marriage are related to their behavior in interaction, spouses were asked to report their marital quality, to make attributions for marital difficulties, and to engage in problem-solving discussions. Study 1 demonstrated that spouses' maladaptive attributions were related to less effective(More)
Theories of how initially satisfied marriages deteriorate or remain stable over time have been limited by a failure to distinguish between key facets of change. The present study defines the trajectory of marital satisfaction in terms of 2 separate parameters--(a) the initial level of satisfaction and (b) the rate of change in satisfaction over time--and(More)
The prevailing behavioral account of marriage must be expanded to include covert processes. This article therefore examines the attributions or explanations that spouses make for marital events. A review indicates that dissatisfied spouses, compared with satisfied spouses, make attributions for the partner's behavior that cast it in a negative light.(More)
The current work investigates how personality and interpersonal processes combine to predict change in relationship quality. Measures of personality and emotion similarity were collected during laboratory interactions from a cross-sectional sample of dating couples (Study 1) and a 1-year longitudinal study of newlywed married couples (Study 2). Results(More)
The hypothesis that attachment insecurity would be associated with remaining in an unhappy marriage was tested. One hundred seventy-two newly married couples participated in a 4-year longitudinal study with multiple assessment points. Hierarchical linear models revealed that compared with spouses in happy marriages and divorced spouses, spouses who were in(More)
How spouses help each other contend with personal difficulties is an unexplored but potentially important domain for understanding how marital distress develops. Newly married couples participated in 2 interaction tasks: a problem-solving task in which spouses discussed a marital conflict and a social support task in which spouses discussed personal,(More)
The present study applied C.L. Hammen's (1991) stress generation model to depressive symptoms in the context of marriage. The authors predicted that depressive symptoms would lead to increased marital stress, which would in turn lead to increased depressive symptoms. Social support processes were hypothesized to function as a mechanism by which dysphoric(More)
Measures of communication and aggression, taken from 56 newlywed couples, were used to predict marital outcomes 4 years later. Aggression discriminated between separated or divorced couples and those who remained married. In contrast, communication discriminated between couples who were maritally satisfied after 4 years and those who were married but(More)
Shortly after marriage, 56 couples provided data on physical aggression and other predictors of marital adjustment. At 6-month intervals over the next 4 years, spouses reported on their marital quality and stability. Results indicated that marital dysfunction was more common among aggressive than among nonaggressive couples (70% vs. 38%) and among severely(More)