Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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This study tested the assumption that self- and spouse reports on values, self-disclosure and satisfaction could predict conflict patterns, as proposed by Rusbult, Zembrodt, & Gunn’s (1982) Exit-Voice-Loyalty-Neglect typology. Participants were 133 married Greek couples. Results were generally consistent with expectations: Self- and spouse reports on satisfaction, self-disclosure and values were significant predictors of the use of the four conflict resolution strategies, to an extent that varied across conflict type, informant (self vs. spouse) and gender. Overall, husbands were more satisfied than wives. No differences were found at the mean level of selfdisclosure, or in the frequency and type of the conflict strategies used by husbands and wives. Values that promoted positive social relationships (e.g., Benevolence, Tradition, Conformity) were positively related to constructive conflict strategies (Voice, Loyalty), and negatively related to destructive conflict strategies (Exit, Neglect). The opposite pattern of relationships was found for values that promoted self-interest at the expense of couple goals (Power). Values promoting gratification of personal needs without necessarily threatening social relations (e.g., Hedonism, Stimulation) differentially contributed to the prediction of conflict resolution strategies in husbands and wives. Finally, passive conflict strategies (Loyalty, Neglect) were negatively related to values, emphasizing the active pursuit of problem solving (Self-direction and Achievement). Findings are discussed in the light of literature on cultural and gender differences in conflict resolution strategies in intimate relationships.

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