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Areas of Conflict for Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples: What Couples Argue about Influences Relationship Satisfaction

Lawrence A. Kurdek
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 923-934
DOI: 10.2307/353603
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353603
Page Count: 12
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Areas of Conflict for Gay, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Couples: What Couples Argue about Influences Relationship Satisfaction
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Abstract

Data regarding the link between the frequency with which relationship conflict is experienced in specific content areas and both concurrent relationship satisfaction and change in relationship satisfaction over a 1-year period are presented for both partners of 75 gay, 51 lesbian, and 108 heterosexual couples who lived together without children. Couple scores fell into six clusters that represented areas of conflict regarding power, social issues, personal flaws, distrust, intimacy, and personal distance. Across the three types of couples, the rank order of frequency of conflict in each content area was very similar. Each partner's concurrent relationship satisfaction was strongly negatively related to the frequency of arguing in areas reflecting power and intimacy, and a decrease in each partner's relationship satisfaction over a 1-year period was linked to frequent arguing in the area of power.

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