Cognitive processes in intimate conflict: I⋅ extending attribution theory

William J. Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


When involved in an ongoing family conflict, family members are assumed to ask themselves attributional questions (e.g., “Who or what is causing this problem?”) and efficacy questions (e.g., “Can we solve this problem?”). Using attribution theory and social learning theory constructs, this paper presents a conceptual model explaining how the answers to these questions influence family conflict attitudes and behavior. The focus of this paper (the first of a two part series) is on how causal attributions affect blaming behavior, generalization of one negative conflict to other family situations, and family members’ sedse of efficacy for solving their problems. The author calls for more attention to the role of the individual’s cognitions in family conflict situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981


Dive into the research topics of 'Cognitive processes in intimate conflict: I⋅ extending attribution theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this