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The relation of unsupportive actions by the spouse to marital satisfaction Habke, A. Marie


Despite the demonstrated benefits of social relationships, there is a growing recognition that such relationships also contain a significant proportion of negative interactions. Even though research has shown that such negative interactions have detrimental effects on outcomes such as marital satisfaction, little is known about how these interactions come to be associated with outcomes. One hundred and three couples having at least one child from a previous relationship living with them completed a telephone interview. As predicted, the results suggest that higher levels of perceived spousal unhelpfulness was related to lower marital satisfaction. Although spousal criticism was not related to marital satisfaction as hypothesized, reports of a failure of the spouse to provide support was linked to low marital satisfaction for husbands. Contrary to predictions, characterological attributions were not related to marital satisfaction although the hypothesized relation between levels of blame in the attribution and marital satisfaction was supported. However, when controlling for demographics and the type and seriousness of the stressor, extent of blame predicted marital satisfaction only for wives. Wives who expressed more blame towards their spouse had lower DAS scores than did wives expressing less blame. No significant interactions between behavior and attribution were found.

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