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The relationship between negative emotions and conflict resolution strategies upon exposure to intimate couple conflicts : an investigation using the articulated thoughts during simulated situations paradigm Broderick, Jessica Alexandra

Abstract

Jealousy induces behavioural, cognitive, and emotional responses when a person suspects that his or her partner is interested in another person. While jealousy is not a new phenomenon to the 21st century, there is little empirical evidence providing support for a theoretical model to explain the various ways individuals react when jealous. Most of the literature on jealousy emotions has focused on anger and its effects; however, jealousy is a composite of negative emotions. The main emotions associated with jealousy are anger, anxiety, fear, and sadness; however, the fear, anxiety, and sadness emotions have not been teased apart from anger and thoroughly studied in regards to jealousy conflicts. Understanding jealousy is important since it has been found to be a common cause of conflict among intimate partners in every culture. In this study, we analyzed ninety-six participants' articulated thoughts of negative emotions and conflict resolution strategies, in response to two intimate relationship conflicts. Their verbal articulations were coded for anger, fear/anxiety/sadness, and conflict resolution strategy according to the Articulated Thoughts during Simulated Situations (ATSS) paradigm and were analyzed. The ATSS measures the cognitions present in participants during intimate partner conflicts. It was found that participants articulated more fear/anxiety/sadness emotions and fewer conflict resolution strategies in the jealousy condition, compared to the power condition. There were no differences in anger articulation scores between the two scenarios. In addition, relationships were found between rational and violent conflict tactics used in the participant's previous relationships and the ATSS conflict resolution strategy thought articulation. The findings of the present study indicate the potential importance of the relationship between fear, anxiety, and sadness emotions, and conflict resolution strategies, more so than anger, in understand jealousy. They also may help to clarify the relationship between jealousy and aggression.

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