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Blame, Control, and Marital Satisfaction: Wives' Attributions for Conflict in Marriage

Margaret E. Madden and Ronnie Janoff-Bulman
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 43, No. 3 (Aug., 1981), pp. 663-674
DOI: 10.2307/351767
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351767
Page Count: 12
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Blame, Control, and Marital Satisfaction: Wives' Attributions for Conflict in Marriage
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Abstract

Married women were interviewed in an investigation of attributions of control and blame for marital conflict and satisfaction with one's marriage. Each respondent was asked to discuss two standard conflict situations and two conflicts from her own marriage. Results supported the hypotheses that blaming one's spouse for marital problems is negatively associated with marital satisfaction, and perceived personal control over conflicts is positively associated with marital satisfaction. Using exploratory path analytic techniques, a model of marital satisfaction emerged in which the wife's satisfaction was found to be related to her perception of both husband's and wife's contributions. The husband's role was traced through husband blame to seriousness of the marital conflict, whereas the wife's own role was traced through the wife's control to the problem's resolvability. Thus the wife perceived her husband as the one who determined how negative marital problems were, while she perceived herself as the major force behind the more positive aspects of resolving and avoiding conflicts.

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