Expanding upon social-learning and vulnerability-stress-adaptation approaches to marriage, the impact of multiple dyadic behaviors on marital satisfaction trajectories was examined in 101 couples. Semi-structured interviews were administered separately to husbands and wives at three months of marriage. Interviewers generated objective ratings for five domains: emotional closeness/intimacy, sexual intimacy/sensuality, interspousal support, decision-making/relational control, and communication/conflict management. Marital satisfaction was assessed four times over three years. Dyadic behaviors were associated with initial levels and rates of change in satisfaction, demonstrating the unique contributions of each relational skill on marital development. For husbands, sexual intimacy was the strongest predictor of change whereas for wives, communication/conflict management was the strongest predictor of change compared to other domains. Theoretical, methodological and clinical implications are discussed.
- Dyadic skills
- Growth curve analyses
- Marital satisfaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science