Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Past research regarding the link between conflict resolution styles and marital satisfaction have been consistent; each partner's level of relationship satisfaction is positively related to the frequency with which both partners use constructive strategies to resolve conflict (such as agreement, compromise, and humor) and negatively related to the frequency with which each partner uses destructive strategies to resolve conflict (such as conflict engagement, withdrawal, and defensiveness) (Kurdek, 1995). The purpose of this research was to examine the links between conflict and satisfaction in romantic relationships that are one or more years in duration. Six self-report indices (the Relationship Assessment Scale - RAS, Conflict Resolution Styles Inventory - CRSI, Ineffective Arguing Inventory - IAI, Assessing Relationship Conflicts Questionnaire - ARCQ, Relationship Styles Questionnaire - RSQ, and Last Argument Questionnaire - LAQ) were administered to 235 participants. Several significant findings were obtained. Fifty six percent of the variance in relationship satisfaction was explained by all the conflict measures (CRSI, IAI, and RSQ). Females scored significantly higher than males on conflict engagement. For couples with more severe perpetual problems, Satisfaction was lower on the Relationship Assessment Scale. Married participants scored significantly higher than participants who were in a dating relationship on both conflict engagement and withdrawal. Post-graduates (those earning a Master's degree and above) scored significantly higher than those who either attended and/or graduated from college on relationship satisfaction and positive problem solving, and lower on ineffective arguing. Participants who reported a medium income level scored significantly higher on conflict withdrawal than those who reported they earned a low income.


Dr. Carol Patrick

Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type



© 2011 Meghan Moland


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Psychology Commons