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Why are couples fighting? : a need frustration perspective on relationship conflict and dissatisfaction

Gaëlle Vanhee, Gilbert Lemmens (UGent), Lara Stas (UGent), Tom Loeys (UGent) and Lesley Verhofstadt (UGent)
(2018) JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY. 40(suppl. 1). p.S4-S23
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Abstract
The present study investigated whether partners' frustration of relational needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness was associated with relationship dissatisfaction and conflict (frequency, topics, communication patterns). Self-report measures were completed by 230 committed heterosexual couples. APIM and regression analyses revealed that (1) need frustration is associated with how dissatisfied partners are with their relationship, how frequently they initiate conflict, and how they communicate during conflicts, but not with the number of conflict topics; (2) relatedness-frustration matters most, whereas only limited evidence was found for autonomy- and competence-frustration; (3) both one's own and one's partner's need frustration play a role in dissatisfaction and conflict; and (4) although most of the results were consistent across gender, gender differences were found for how need frustration affects couples' conflict communication. Therapeutic implications are discussed.
Keywords
need frustration, relationship dissatisfaction, relationship conflict, SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY, RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION, PARTNER, GENDER, MODEL

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Chicago
Vanhee, Gaëlle, Gilbert Lemmens, Lara Stas, Tom Loeys, and Lesley Verhofstadt. 2018. “Why Are Couples Fighting? : a Need Frustration Perspective on Relationship Conflict and Dissatisfaction.” Journal of Family Therapy 40 (suppl. 1): S4–S23.
APA
Vanhee, G., Lemmens, G., Stas, L., Loeys, T., & Verhofstadt, L. (2018). Why are couples fighting? : a need frustration perspective on relationship conflict and dissatisfaction. JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY, 40(suppl. 1), S4–S23.
Vancouver
1.
Vanhee G, Lemmens G, Stas L, Loeys T, Verhofstadt L. Why are couples fighting? : a need frustration perspective on relationship conflict and dissatisfaction. JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY. 2018;40(suppl. 1):S4–S23.
MLA
Vanhee, Gaëlle, Gilbert Lemmens, Lara Stas, et al. “Why Are Couples Fighting? : a Need Frustration Perspective on Relationship Conflict and Dissatisfaction.” JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY 40.suppl. 1 (2018): S4–S23. Print.
@article{7241767,
  abstract     = {The present study investigated whether partners' frustration of relational needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness was associated with relationship dissatisfaction and conflict (frequency, topics, communication patterns). Self-report measures were completed by 230 committed heterosexual couples. APIM and regression analyses revealed that (1) need frustration is associated with how dissatisfied partners are with their relationship, how frequently they initiate conflict, and how they communicate during conflicts, but not with the number of conflict topics; (2) relatedness-frustration matters most, whereas only limited evidence was found for autonomy- and competence-frustration; (3) both one's own and one's partner's need frustration play a role in dissatisfaction and conflict; and (4) although most of the results were consistent across gender, gender differences were found for how need frustration affects couples' conflict communication. Therapeutic implications are discussed.},
  author       = {Vanhee, Ga{\"e}lle and Lemmens, Gilbert and Stas, Lara and Loeys, Tom and Verhofstadt, Lesley},
  issn         = {0163-4445},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF FAMILY THERAPY},
  keyword      = {need frustration,relationship dissatisfaction,relationship conflict,SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY,RELATIONSHIP SATISFACTION,PARTNER,GENDER,MODEL},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {suppl. 1},
  pages        = {S4--S23},
  title        = {Why are couples fighting? : a need frustration perspective on relationship conflict and dissatisfaction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-6427.12126},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2018},
}

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