Monitoring pronouns in conflicts temporal dynamics of verbal communication in couples across the lifespan

Mona Neysari, Guy Bodenmann, Matthias R. Mehl, Katharina Bernecker, Fridtjof W. Nussbeck, Sabine Backes, Martina Zemp, Mike Martin, Andrea B. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Conflict communication represents a basic process for the quality of intimate relationships, which is fundamental to well-being over the lifespan. This study investigates the temporal unfolding of different relational perspectives during a conflict situation by monitoring pronoun use in young, middle-aged, and old couples within the theoretical framework of Gottman’s phases of conflict. Our results reveal different trajectories of “I”-, “you”-, and “we”-talk over a conflict conversation in both partners. These trajectories differ between females and males. Furthermore, “you”-talk and “we”-talk differed among the age groups over time. Understanding the temporal dynamics of marital communication as reflected by pronoun use seems promising for a better understanding of conflict related processes in couples over the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalGeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Couple communication
  • LIWC
  • Language use
  • Romantic relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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