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Individual difference variables in close relationships: a contextual model of marriage as an integrative framework



Individual difference variables in close relationships: a contextual model of marriage as an integrative framework



Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54(4): 713-721



We examined and refined a contextual model of marriage (Bradbury & Fincham, 1987) in order to organize the associations between individual difference variables and satisfaction in close relationships. Seventy-eight spouses were administered instruments assessing marital satisfaction and individual differences in femininity, masculinity, dysfunctional relationship beliefs, and causal and responsibility attributions for marital difficulties. As predicted, higher levels of satisfaction were related to femininity and to partner's femininity, and lower levels of satisfaction were related to dysfunctional beliefs and less benign attributions. More important, two competing hypotheses relating to the contextual model were tested. A model in which the transitory, or proximal, context (e.g., responsibility attributions for specific relationship events) mediates the relation between the stable, or distal, context (e.g., general beliefs about relationships) and satisfaction was refuted. Support was obtained, however, for a model in which proximal and distal variables both account for unique variance in marital satisfaction. The usefulness of distinguishing between transitory and stable variables and the implications of the contextual model for organizing research on close relationships are discussed.

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Accession: 040415940

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3367287

DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.54.4.713


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