Conflict and Violence
The Nature of Conflict
What is Conflict?
Incompatibility between peoples actions, goals,
desires, opinions etc. Often including negative emotions.
Frequency of Conflict
with personality characteristics (neuroticism), incompatible preferences,
differences in life stages.
Conflict Topics and Issues
verbal or nonverbal events perceived as demeaning.
demands being asked to do things outside the normal relationship
seeking a desired reaction and not getting it.
Cumulative annoyances repeated
instances of small frustrations.
Attributions and Conflict
increases the frequency of seeking behavioral explanations as opposed to during
more pleasant interactions.
conflict people take a benign view of their own motives, find excuses.
may start as factual disputes and become attributional conflict over motives.
Differences Between Happy and Unhappy Couples
Internal, stable and
global negative attributions.
for positive behavior.
motives, negative intentions
for negative behavior.
The Middle Stages of Conflict
Threats and Entrapment
two responses are escalation or negotiation.
generalization of issues, blaming the other person, personal attacks,
intensified demands, and threats.
can result in entrapment, being unable to retreat from a position taken.
approaches about a problem, the partner avoids the issue.
twice as likely as men to be the person making demands. 60/30/10
wishing cooperation from the othe in an activity is put in the role of the
demanding one. This is often the woman,
who is seeking a change in the mans behavior, often related to attention and
affection. Woman demand/ man withdraw is associated with decline of marital
and Accommodation besides
escalation and negativity, rational problem solving also exists.
state positions exchange information, work towards solutions
inhibiting the impulse to respond negatively and reacting constructively in
the face of destructive behavior.
leaving the partner, threatening to end the relationship, abuse, i.e., yelling
active constructive behavior, discussing problems, changing behavior obtaining
passive constructive manner, optimistically waiting for conditions to improve
passive destructive, avoiding discussion etc.
Conflict: 4 Types of Couples
expressiveness and involvement, try to persuade each other
relaxed discussion, appear to be working on problem, take stock at the
Avoiders no strategy
for conflict, hope time will take care of it
criticism, contempt, defensiveness, withdrawal, flooding (eruption of strong
Termination and Outcomes of Conflict
Domination one person
gets way, other gives in
acceptable to both, but optimal to neither
both partners original goals are met
improves the relationship of the partners beyond the time of the conflict.
Can Fighting Be Good for a Relationship?
do you think?
table 12.3 on page 353 for fight effects.
Violence in Relationships
51.9% of women and 64%
of men reported being physically assaulted at some time in their lives.
22.1% of women and 7.4%
of men have been assaulted by in intimate partner.
Most common forms of
violence are slapping or hitting, pushing, grabbing or shoving. 9.6% of men
have been victims of knife attacks.
1.9 million women U.S.
women assaulted annually---one every 17 seconds. See Figure 12.4 page 355.
Types of Couple Violence
violence conflicts that get out of
hand, minor forms of aggression that rarely escalate out of control.
Patriarchal terrorism violence emanating from control, uses tactics like
threats, isolation, and economic subordination. Escalates over time, causes
injury and PTSD, depression. 4 times as likely to have left husbands multiple
control both partners controlling
Violent resistants both partners violent, but the reisistant partner is
acting in self-defense.
Gender Differences in Partner Violence
Family Violence survey found 12.1% of women and 11.3% of men reported
committing a violent act against their spouse in the preceding year.
acts 4.4% of women and 3% of men had acted violently.
accounts for this finding?
Terrorism almost exclusively male.
couple violence gender symmetric
resistance almost exclusively female.
Correlates of Violence
events unemployment, unplanned pregnancy
socioeconomic status, low income, little education
background growing up in a violent family
Why Dont They All Leave?
40% of women seeking aid in shelters return to their partners
unattached 20%, 23% in non-abusive relationships.
partners, but one year no violence.
33% still in
abusive relationship 25% victims, 8% both victims and perpetrators.
status women who leave more likely to be employed than those who stay.
may turn in to entrapment
the greater the investment in time and affection in the relationship the
harder to leave.
of greater violence.
Violence in Premarital Relationships
22.3% of undergraduates
report that violence had occurred in their relationships.
One person using force
22% female, 10% males.
Using force the previous
year 37% men and 35% of women.
More men (39%) than women (32%) reported partners had
used force against him.