University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Edward Lemay, UNH Department of Psychology
Observing Couples' Interactions in Conflict Situations: Predictors and Consequences of Conflict Resolution Behaviors
When a couple’s relationship is challenged due to a current argument, the relationship can be put at risk. Research suggests that addressing problems in a direct manner may have a negative effect in the short-term but facilitates relationship well-being in the long-term. The current research will examine the role of trait self-esteem and the need to belong in predicting these behaviors. Individuals with low self-esteem and with a high need to belong are expected to be especially unlikely to express their concerns due to a fear of rejection. High self-esteem individuals with a high need to belong are expected to be especially likely to express their grievances in an attempt to improve the relationship. In turn, direct behaviors are expected to elicit the partner's negative emotions and motivation to change. These findings would have implications for understanding the predictors of conflict behaviors and their varied short-term and long-term consequences.