Mindfulness, Conflict Strategy Use, and Relational Satisfaction: a Dyadic Investigation
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Research suggests that the capacity to be mindful is positively associated with constructive conflict strategy use and negatively associated with destructive conflict strategy use when individuals experience disagreement with a romantic partner. Conflict interactions are inherently dyadic however, signifying the importance of investigating whether a person’s own capacity for mindfulness is associated with their partner’s choice of conflict strategy. This exploratory study investigated whether individual’s mindful awareness had an association with partner conflict strategy use for 169 heterosexual couples. We assessed couple member’s mindfulness, conflict strategy use, and relational satisfaction. Actor-partner interdependence models (APIM) suggested that male mindfulness positively predicted their likelihood of compromising during conflict. Male mindfulness was also positively associated with female relationship satisfaction. Female mindfulness, on the other hand, predicted a lower likelihood of male dominance and reactivity during conflict. Actor-partner mediation models (APIMeM) suggested significant actor-actor effects such that mindfulness was positively associated with one’s own use of compromise, which in turn positively predicted one’s own relationship satisfaction. In addition, female mindfulness predicted lower male reactivity, which predicted higher male satisfaction. Implications and future research are discussed from a dyadic perspective.
KeywordsMindfulness Interpersonal conflict Relational satisfaction Dyadic data analysis
JC: wrote the introduction, assisted in data collection, and edited versions of the manuscript
AW: ran the dyadic analyses, wrote the results section, and created the graphs
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. IRB approval for this study was obtained at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Washington. Informed consent was obtained from all participants in the study. Data for this study have not been reported elsewhere, nor used in prior research.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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