CH 10: Interpersonal Communication in Romantic and Family Relationships

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Final Exam Review

Intimacy

Significant emotional closeness experienced in a relationship.

Commitment

A desire to stay in a relationship.

Interdependence

A state in which each person's behaviors affect everyone else in the relationship.

Investment

The resources we put into our relationships.

Family of Origin

The family in which one grows up (often consisting of one's parents and siblings).

Family of Procreation

The family one starts as an adult (often consisting of one's spouse and children).

Rituals

Repetitive behaviors that have special meaning for a group or relationship.

Communication Climate

The emotional tone of a relationship.

Confirming Messages

Behaviors that indicate how much we value another person.

Disconfirming Messages

Behaviors that imply a lack of regard for another person.

Defensiveness

Excessive concern with guarding oneself against the threat of criticism; the tendency to deny the validity of criticisms directed at the self.

Supportiveness

A person's feeling of assurance that others care about and will protect him or her.

Dialectical Tensions

Conflicts between two important but opposing needs or desires.

Autonomy vs. Connection

A common tension in intimate relations is between autonomy—the feeling of wanting to be one's own person—and connection—the desire to be close to others.

Openness vs. Closedness

Another common dialectical tension is the conflict between openness—the desire for disclosure and honesty—and closedness—the desire to keep certain facts, thoughts, or ideas to oneself.

Predictability vs. Novelty

In addition, many intimate relationships experience conflict between predictability—the desire for consistency and stability—and novelty—the desire for fresh, new experiences.

Denial (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

This strategy involves responding to only one side of the tension and ignoring the other.

Disorientation (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

This strategy involves escaping the tension entirely by ending the relationship.

Alternation (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

Alternation means going back and forth between the two sides of a tension.

Segmentation (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

This strategy involves dealing with one side of a tension in some aspects, or segments, of one's relationship and the other side of the tension in other segments.

Balance (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

People who use balance as a strategy try to compromise, or find a middle ground, between the two opposing forces of a tension.

Integration (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

In this strategy, people try to develop behaviors that will satisfy both sides of a tension simultaneously.

Recalibration (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

Adopting this strategy means "reframing" a tension so that the contradiction between opposing needs disappears.

Reaffirmation (strategies for managing dialectical tensions)

Finally, reaffirmation means simply embracing dialectical tensions as a normal part of life.

Same-sex & Opposite-sex Relationships

-People in same-sex romantic relationships report levels of relationship satisfaction equal to those of opposite-sex dating, engaged, and married couples.
-People in many same-sex relationships live as domestic partners, often owning joint property and raising children together, so many have demanded the right to legally marry.

How partners negotiate the division of everyday task matters for their relationship...

1.) day-to-day tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and childcare need to be completed, so most couples cannot leave decisions about who will do them to chance.
2.) the way in which partners divide mundane, everyday tasks often reflects the balance of power within their relationship.

What makes a family?

1. Genetic Ties
2. Legal Obligations (involves legal bonds)
3. Role Behaviors (society believes most important aspect is that they in fact ACT like a family)

Family of Origin

The family in which one grows up (often consisting of one's parents and siblings).

Family of Procreation

The family one starts as an adult (often consisting of one's spouse and children).

Initiating Stage (Mark Knapp's relational stages)

The stage of relationship development when people meet and interact for the first time.

Experimenting Stage (Mark Knapp's relational stages)

The stage of relationship development when individuals have conversations to learn more about each other.

Intensifying Stage (Mark Knapp's relational stages)

The stage of relationship development when individuals move from being acquaintances to being close friends.

Integrating Stage (Mark Knapp's relational stages)

The stage of relationship development when a deep commitment has formed, and there is a strong sense that the relationship has its own identity.

Bonding Stage (Mark Knapp's relational stages)

The stage of relationship development when the partners publicly announce their commitment.

Traditional Couples (relational types)

-culturally conventional approach to marriage
-gender-typical divisions of labor
--wives are in charge of housework and childrearing
--husbands are responsible for home repair and auto maintenance
-engage in conflict rather than avoid it

Separate Couples (relational types)

-spouses are autonomous rather than interdependent
-have their own interests and social networks, and they think of themselves as separate individuals rather than as one couple
-generally don't engage in conflict; even when they disagree, they tend to ignore conflict rather than dealing with it directly.

Independent Couples (relational types)

-independent of social expectations for marriage
-They don't necessarily believe in conventional gender roles or divisions of labor, so the wife might support the family financially while the husband stays home with the children.
-Highly interdependent: As a result, they engage in conflict when it arises.

Validating Couples (handling conflict)

- talk about their disagreements openly and cooperatively
-spouses communicate respect for each other's opinions even when they disagree with them
-use humor and expressions of positive emotion to defuse the tension that conflict can create

Volatile Couples (handling conflict)

-also talk about their disagreements openly, but in a way that is competitive rather than cooperative
-each spouse tries to persuade the other to adopt his or her point of view
-expressions of negative rather than positive emotion
-conflicts are often followed by intense periods of affection and "making up"

Conflict-avoiding Couples (handling conflict)

-deal with their disagreements indirectly rather than openly
-try to defuse negative emotion and focus on their similarities
-feel there is little to be gained by engaging in conflict directly, believing that most problems will resolve themselves
-"agree to disagree" (can leave their points of disagreement unresolved)

Hostile Couples (handling conflict)

-frequent & intense conflict
-negative emotion displays (harsh tones & facial expressions)
-engage in personal attacks that include insults, sarcasm, name calling, blaming, and other forms of criticism

Happy partners communicate more _________ emotion and less _________ emotion with each other than do unhappy couples.

positive; negative

Unhappy couples are more likely than happy couples to...

reciprocate expressions of negative emotion.

The fact that _____________ _____________ addresses the necessary daily tasks couples face explains why it is one of the most common forms of communication between romantic partners.

instrumental communication

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