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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Idealized intimacy, openness in communication, and coping efforts : predictors of marital satisfaction Afshar, Noushine


The purpose of this study was to examine, within 60 nonclinical, first-time married, heterosexual couples, whether marital satisfaction is predicted by three key variables: openness in communication (self-disclosure); discrepant intimacy (difference between perceived and ideal emotional intimacy); and positive coping efforts. Despite their importance in marriage, little research exists on the relative strength of each variable's contribution to marital satisfaction. To compare each variable's predictive strength, simultaneous multiple regression analyses were performed on responses to the following measures: Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMSS), Communication Scale, Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR), and Marital Coping Inventory (MCI). For all participants, discrepant emotional intimacy, selfdisclosure, and positive coping jointly contributed to satisfaction. However, discrepant intimacy and self-disclosure were stronger predictors (accounting for greater variance) of marital satisfaction compared to positive coping. Results of analyses for husbands' and wives' data also yielded significant, moderate, negative correlations between discrepant intimacy and marital satisfaction and between discrepant intimacy and selfdisclosure. Limitations of this study's findings, suggestions for future research, and implications for counselling are discussed.

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