Communication and conflict
Bourdeau, Hugo A
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With the constant rise in the divorce rate, the shiftiing of family functions to other institutions and agencies, the increase in the number of family counseling agencies, and other changes that have been taking place in the United States, there has come an increasing awareness of the need for an investigation of some factors related to family disorganization. Several authorities allude to the factor of communication between spouses as being related to the degree of adjustment which they will or have achieved. None of these, however, present data to support this idea. Therefore, the particular problem studied in this thesis is designed to prove, or to disprove, the hypothesis that there is a relationship between the reported degree of failure of reciprocity in confiding in each other and the reported number of areas of conflict in the marriage. The data was obtained from case files of the Marriage Counseling Service, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, of which the author is Executive Director. This agency does social case work with clients who come voluntarily, with or without referral, for help with postmarital problems. This study reveals a relationship between the reported amount of reciprocity of confiding in each other by wife and husband and the reported number of areas of disagreement and also the reported intensity of this disagreement. It reveals further that improved communication produces fewer areas of disagreement and less intense disagreement. In this respect it is both a valid and useful study as an aid to developing some more intelligent approaches in premarital, marriage, and family counseling. Beyond the limited scope and intent of this study there is much more to be learned about communication in marriage as a factor in marriage adjustment. Within the limits of the data presented the author feels that a significant first step has been accomplished in establishing a relationship between communication and conflict in marriage and that it has been further established that a much more involved study using the scientific knowledge of sociology, psychology, and psychoanalytic theories would be required to establish scientific techniques useful in premarital, marriage, and family counseling to teach communication as preventive measure to avoid or reduce conflict. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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