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marriage and communication: John Gottman
- Video: Lets Get married: Consequences of Deinstitutionalized Marriages
- Linked divorce to crimes, dropouts, welfare, and out-of-wedlock children.
- Created “next generation of monsters.”
- Linked to“America’s social ills.”
- Goal: Solved the marriage problem, solve social problems.
- Started the marriage movement
- Sends the message to people that marriage matters!
- Hosted the Smart Marriages Annual Conference
- Institutionalized the covenant marriage option.
- Issues that trigger marital conflict?
- Money: 51% Americans don’t talk about money before marriage and 84% of couples said that money creates tension in their marriage.
- Division of labor: 62% of couples said that sharing household tasks was very important for a successful marriage
- In 1976, women did an average of 26 hrs. of housework/week vs. 6 hrs./week for men.
- In 2005, women did an average of 17 hrs./week vs. 13 hrs./week for men.
- Sexual infidelity: In most surveys, sexual infidelity is typically at the top of the list.But, the data show
- that it is not a common occurrence.
- Children: Different philosophies of childrearing, kids from remarriages.
Six types of hidden issues: (come up with any issue or event) Control and power , Needing and caring, Rcognition, Commitment, Integrity, Acceptance
- Whats important in a successful marriage:
- Compatibility: Initially, similar attitudes, values, and beliefs brought people together.
- After marriage, personality may become increasingly important.
- Couples are happier if they have similar personalities
- and emotional wavelengths.
- Couples who play together don’t necessarily stay
- Flexibility: Relationships are never 100% compatible!
- Ability to give and take matters!
- Happy couples are more likely to handle and adjust to their differences vs. unhappy couples
- Positive attitudes:Spouses who like each other as people and are good friends have happier marriages.
- Couples whose marriage begin in romantic bliss are especially prone to divorce. It’s hard to maintain such intensity; unrealistic expectation.
- Emotional support: is much more important than romantic love. don’t compete with each other and because we respect each other’s independence.
- Communication and conflict resolution: Happy
- couples recognize and work at resolving problems and disagreements.
- resolving conflict is a key ingredient for marital success
- Mary Anne Fitzpatrick concludes that “what mattered was whether the partners’actual interaction matched their marital ideology?
- Interdependent couple: Marital happiness
- Self-disclosure – is telling another person about oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings.
- Separates: Were satisfied if they avoided jarring conflicts.
- Mixed Couples: Dissimilar ideologies of marriage; they differed in their expectations for closeness and attitudes toward conflict.
- Ted Huston and Heidi Melz: predict the collapse of the couple union?
- absence of positive affect and not the presence of negative affect.
- “In the years after ‘the honeymoon’s over,’ couples did not necessarily fight more. Instead, their marriages showed a decline in signs of love and affection”
- How do you show positive affection? the little things, let partner know your listening, listener backchannel, show interest, have fun together
- John Gottman: The four HorsemanContempt: A feeling that one’s spouse is inferior or undesirable (manifests in disrespectful acts toward the
- other partner; i.e., name calling)
- Criticism: Making disapproving judgments or evaluations of one’s partner.
- Defensiveness: Preparing to defend oneself against what one thinks is an upcoming attack.
- Stonewalling: Resistance, refusing to listen to (or avoid) one’s partner, esp. to complaints.
- Beliligerence: Behaviors that are
- provocative and that challenge the spouse’s power and authority (i.e., so? What are you going to do about it?)
- Measured heart rate that associated with types of conflict and found:
- Beligerence, contempt, and defensiveness were coded as high-intensity, negative affect.
- Anger, sadness, whining, disgust, and fear were coded as low-intensity negative affect.
- What can wives do? Soothing of the male– using positive affect. Communicate care and affection, Soften their confrontations – using less-negative communication styles. Be more gentle when raise complaints
- What can husbands do? Share power and be willing to be influenced by the wife (negotiate and compromise).
- Learn self soothing techniques (i.e., timeout).
- What can couples do? Share humor, kindness, and other signs of affection to de-escalate arguments.
- 10 Rules to a successful marriage: Express your love verbally, Be physically affectionate, Express your appreciation and even admiration, Share more about yourself with your partner than you do with any other person, Offer each other an emotional support system, Express your love materially, Accept your partner’s demands and put up with your partner’s shortcomings,
- Make time to be alone together, Do not take your relationship for granted, Do unto each other as you would have the other do unto you
- Compared to children in one-parent households, children in two-parent households are:
- ¢Less than half as likely to have emotional or behavioral problems.
- ¢A third as likely to use illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
- ¢44% less likely to be physically abused, or neglected.
- ¢Boys are only half as likely to commit a crime leading to incarceration by their thirties.
The transition to Parenthood
A man and woman who become parents enter a new phase of their lives. Parenthood signifies adulthood—the final, irreversible end of youthful roles.
Motivations of Parenthood:
- A person can become an ex-spouse but never an
- ex-parent. The irrevocable nature of parenthood makes the first-time parent doubtful and apprehensive; yet people have few ways of preparing for parenting.
- Parenthood has to be learned experientially.
Personal identiy , meaning and purpose in life, Satisfaction that is lacking in jobs, Exercise authority and influence lacking at work
- Benefits of kids: joy, fullfilment, rite of passage
- Cost: about 21% of their earnings on a child yearly from birth to age 17,
- Direct costs: Child-rearing costs (If a child is disabled or chronically ill, If one parent loses his or her job) Emotional costs: Experience anxiety and fatigue
- Interpersonal relational costs: Marital relationship dissatisfaction
- Opportunity costs: What parents forgo when rearing children? “Mommy tax:” Unpaid work at home doesn’t count toward Social Security pensions, edu chances
- Should your partner agree?
- Planners: Couples who actively discuss the issue and have jointly decided to conceive a child. Happy about becoming parents
- Acceptance-of-fate: Pleasantly surprised and quietly welcoming of a child even though they have not planned for the pregnancy.
- Ambivalent couples: Have mixed feelings before and after conception and even well into the pregnancy.
- Yes-no couples: One partner may not want children, even late in the pregnancy.
- What were some of the changes that affected
- the fertility rate over time in the U.S.?
- economy: Costs of living went up while salaries continued to remain relatively the same, Many wives sought employment to sustain and/or continue their
- Declining infant mortality: Advances in medicine and hygiene have lowered infant mortality rates
- Improvements in contraceptive methods
- More opportunities for women in higher education
- Demographic variables: Foreign-born vs. native-born women
- Which racial/ethnic group has the highest fertility rates? Hispanics
- Which racial/ethnic group has the lowest fertility rates? Native American/Alaska Native
- What are some of the reasons for this?
- Hispanics migrated from nations that have high birthrates.
- Socioemotional Behavior: the amount of affection they
- express in their marriages remains constant compared to nonparent couples.
- How do parent couples maintain their quality marital relationships?
- Shifting their lifestyle toward a working partnership
- Wives focus more on the child
- Husbands sacrifice their preferred leisure activities
Parenting styles and practices
- Rewards/ Difficulties of Parenting
- Role theory: Role is a set of expected behavior patterns, obligations, and privileges
- Role conflict: Conflicts due to incompatible roles (i.e., work & school involvement)
- Role strain: Conflicts due to too many inconsistencies and expectations built into our roles, Unrealistic role expectations (Good parents reflect on successful children’s outcomes), Decreased authority (Compete with TV and the media), Increased responsibility, (Stigmatize if a child turns outto be “bad”, If teen involves in a car accident, parents can be sued in civil court), High parenting standards (Expected to be informed about
- every that impacting the child’s life)
- Significance of Parenting: It is expected by society to raise the next generation of productive and contributing citizens.
- It is a mechanism through which parents use to foster their values and goals into the child.
- Children’s outcomes depend on what parents do and the type of environment they create for the child.
Executive Functions--part of the brain, judgement last to develop
- Parenting Styles: “A constellation of attitudes toward the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create an emotional climate in which the parent’s behaviors are expressed”
- Goal-directed behaviors through which parents perform their parental duties or parenting practices.
- Non-goal-directed behaviors such as gestures, changes in tone of voice, or spontaneous expression of emotion
- Bauramind: parenting style (control as major parenting approach in configurartional approach)
- Level of maturity demands, communication style, and nurturance