Edited By James M. Honeycutt, Chris R. Sawyer and Shaughan Keaton
This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the influences of communication on physiology and physical health status occurring in a variety of contexts, from families, interpersonal relationships, and public speaking to sport fandom, affection, fear, and the escalation of conflict. It offers a broad and up-to-date review of the relevant literature in this area of study.
Chapter 4: Effects of Rumination and Observing Marital Conflict on Observers’ Heart Rates as They Advise and Predict the Use of Conflict Tactics
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Effects of Rumination and Observing Marital Conflict on Observers’ Heart Rates as They Advise and Predict the Use of Conflict Tactics
James M. Honeycutt, Shaughan A. Keaton, Laura C. Hatcher, and Dale Hample
Conflict is common in ongoing relationships because partners have shared history and interdependence. Yet, bonding strengthens relationships such that partners can understand disapproval from one another and relationships can survive partner disagreements (Canary, Cupach, & Serpe, 2001). Gottman’s (1994, 2011) extensive research involving 12 studies with more than 3,000 couples and another 4,000 couples in therapy has found that arguing does not predict the end of relationships; it is how couples argue (e.g., with contempt, sarcasm, or ridicule versus arguing with concern, empathy, and cooperative impulses) that predicts end of relationships.
Grych and Fincham (2001) have indicated that although married individuals are healthier on average than unmarried, marital conflict is associated ← 73 | 74 → with worse health and with specific illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease, and chronic pain, perhaps because hostile behaviors during conflict are related to alterations in immunological, endocrine, and cardiovascular functioning. Physical aggression occurs in about 30% of married couples in the United States, leading to significant physical injury in about 10% of couples. Marriage is also the most common interpersonal context for homicide, and women are more likely to be murdered by their partners than by anyone else. Finally, marital conflict is associated with important family outcomes, including...
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