Communication Styles and Marital Satisfaction in Israeli and American Couples

Iris Winkler, William J. Doherty

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the conflict‐related communication styles of American and Israeli couples and how these communication styles related to marital satisfaction in the two groups. An Israeli sample was recruited from Israeli couples currently living in New York City; the American sample was selected from the friendship circles of the Israeli couples. In spite of the close social ties of the two groups, we predicted that the conflict‐related communication styles of the Israelis would be less calm and rational than those of the Americans and that such rational modes of communication would be positively associated with marital satisfaction for the Americans but not for the Israelis. The principle instruments were Straus' Conflict Tactics Scale, Ryder's Imagined Situation Inventory, and Spanier's Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Results largely confirmed the hypotheses. Israeli couples were more apt to be verbally aggressive (but less physically violent) and less apt to behave calmly during marital conflict, but these communication styles did not relate to marital satisfaction as strongly for the Israelis as for the Americans. These findings are discussed as a demonstration of the importance of considering cultural context when treating families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalFamily process
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1983

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