What Predicts Divorce? The Relationship between Marital Processes and Marital Outcomes

By John Mordechai Gottman | Go to book overview

during parent-child interaction when they were 5 years old. They were aroused chronically as well. Children of unhappily married parents had higher levels of urinary catecholamines when they were 5 years old ( Gottman & Katz, 1989). Furthermore, when they posed facial expressions of emotion at age 5, children of unhappily married parents had greater heart rate reactivity than children of more happily married parents ( Shortt et al., in press).


13.8. SUMMARY

The results of Study 2 were quite consistent with those of Study 1. The general form of the cascade model held, and the same sets of variables predicted the dissolution cascade. The typology, to the extent that it could be studied, seemed consistent with the results of the first study. The pattern of physiological results also paralleled those of Study 1, and the same gender differences in behavior were obtained again. Furthermore, there was evidence that the marital processes that correlated with the RCISS speaker slopes were predictive of a wide range of deleterious outcomes in children once they entered school.


13.9. APPENDIX

13.9.1. New SPAFF Codes: Notes to Coders Using On-Line SPAFF

13.9.1.1. Validation

The observer needs to distinguish couples that express real feelings and have them validated by their partner, from those couples that do not give any validation. It is important to consider the context of the topic of conversation. RIPFT refers to Relationship Information, Problems, Feeling Talk. Validation occurs in the context of RIPFT. Validation can be coded when the couple is talking about one of the partner's feelings, or about a topic pertaining to the marriage. Even if the topic begins to stray away from a subject related to the marriage, if validating behavior occurs, it can be coded. For example, if one member of the couple starts talking about problems she or he is having with a co-worker, and the listener validates the speaker's feelings, it is coded as validation.

A good cue that validation has taken place comes from the reaction of the partner to the statements by the other member of the couple. If the

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