The Functionality of Conflict Behaviors and the Popularity of Those Who Engage in Them
Tezer, Esin, Adolescence
Achieving personal goals and maintaining mutually satisfying relationships with others sometimes come into conflict. Such conflict is particularly problematic during adolescence, when the maintenance of peer relationships is an important social goal.
Two dimensions pertinent to conflict management - concern for self and concern for the other, each of which can range from low to high-have been articulated in different ways by many theorists (e.g., Blake & Mouton, 1964; Deutsch, 1994; Johnson & Johnson, 1987; Thomas, 1976). based on these dimensions, five conflict behaviors have been identified: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating. Competing is associated with high concern for self and low concern for the other party; collaborating with high concern for self and other; compromising with intermediate concern for self and other; avoiding with low concern for self and other; and accommodating with low concern for self and high concern for the other party (Deutsch, 1994). Competing involves forcing the other party to acquiesce; collaborating has both parties working together to achieve a mutually satisfying outcome; compromising involves the search for a middle-ground solution; avoiding involves withdrawal from conflict situations; and accommodating involves meeting the needs of the other party at the expense of one's own needs (Thomas, 1976). The escalation or de-escalation of conflict largely depends on which behavior is employed. These conflict behaviors have been studied in relation to individual characteristics, such as attributional biases (e.g., Baron, 1985), situational constraints, such as power relationships (e.g., Tjosvold, Dann, & Wong, 1992), and conflict skill training programs and third-party intervention strategies (e.g., Zhang, 1994).
Boardman and Horowitz (1994) noted that attraction (via similarity/dissimilarity) is a factor in the process of conflict management. However, little is known about the degree to which the various conflict behaviors are associated with attraction in the realm of interpersonal relationships.
The proposition that "people tend …
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Publication information: Article title: The Functionality of Conflict Behaviors and the Popularity of Those Who Engage in Them. Contributors: Tezer, Esin - Author. Journal title: Adolescence. Volume: 34. Issue: 134 Publication date: Summer 1999. Page number: 409. © 1999 Libra Publishers, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
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