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Couple communication patterns of maritally aggressive and nonaggressive male alcoholics.
J Stud Alcohol. 1997 Jan; 58(1):83-90.JS

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study was conducted to examine the associations between communication problems and marital violence in couples with a male alcoholic, and to determine whether the communication correlates of marital violence found in nonalcoholic community samples also characterize male alcoholics' relationships.

METHOD

Ninety newly abstinent treatment-seeking male alcoholics and their wives completed a 10-minute problem discussion while both partners were sober. Their communication behaviors were coded with the Marital Interaction Coding system. Couples were separated into maritally aggressive (n = 60 couples) and nonaggressive (n = 30 couples) groups on the basis of any husband-to-wife physical aggression in the previous 12 months.

RESULTS

The base-rate percentage of aversive-defensive communication was significantly higher for couples with a physically aggressive husband than for couples with a nonaggressive husband. The base-rate percentage of facilitative-enhancing communication did not differ significantly between groups. In sequential analyses, physically aggressive husbands, but not their wives, displayed more negative reciprocity than their nonaggressive counterparts. Alcoholic husbands in general displayed lower rates of facilitative-enhancing communication than did their wives.

CONCLUSIONS

Husband-to-wife marital aggression was associated with problematic communication among couples with an alcoholic husband during a sober interaction in a laboratory setting, extending prior nonalcoholic community sample research to male alcoholics' relationships. The maritally aggressive alcoholics were high in negative responses contingent upon their wives' prior negative behavior, and were unlikely to terminate aversive interchanges. Communication problems may be important in understanding and treating co-occurring alcoholism and marital violence.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County 21228, USA.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

8979216

Citation

Murphy, C M., and T J. O'Farrell. "Couple Communication Patterns of Maritally Aggressive and Nonaggressive Male Alcoholics." Journal of Studies On Alcohol, vol. 58, no. 1, 1997, pp. 83-90.
Murphy CM, O'Farrell TJ. Couple communication patterns of maritally aggressive and nonaggressive male alcoholics. J Stud Alcohol. 1997;58(1):83-90.
Murphy, C. M., & O'Farrell, T. J. (1997). Couple communication patterns of maritally aggressive and nonaggressive male alcoholics. Journal of Studies On Alcohol, 58(1), 83-90.
Murphy CM, O'Farrell TJ. Couple Communication Patterns of Maritally Aggressive and Nonaggressive Male Alcoholics. J Stud Alcohol. 1997;58(1):83-90. PubMed PMID: 8979216.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Couple communication patterns of maritally aggressive and nonaggressive male alcoholics. AU - Murphy,C M, AU - O'Farrell,T J, PY - 1997/1/1/pubmed PY - 1997/1/1/medline PY - 1997/1/1/entrez SP - 83 EP - 90 JF - Journal of studies on alcohol JO - J. Stud. Alcohol VL - 58 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to examine the associations between communication problems and marital violence in couples with a male alcoholic, and to determine whether the communication correlates of marital violence found in nonalcoholic community samples also characterize male alcoholics' relationships. METHOD: Ninety newly abstinent treatment-seeking male alcoholics and their wives completed a 10-minute problem discussion while both partners were sober. Their communication behaviors were coded with the Marital Interaction Coding system. Couples were separated into maritally aggressive (n = 60 couples) and nonaggressive (n = 30 couples) groups on the basis of any husband-to-wife physical aggression in the previous 12 months. RESULTS: The base-rate percentage of aversive-defensive communication was significantly higher for couples with a physically aggressive husband than for couples with a nonaggressive husband. The base-rate percentage of facilitative-enhancing communication did not differ significantly between groups. In sequential analyses, physically aggressive husbands, but not their wives, displayed more negative reciprocity than their nonaggressive counterparts. Alcoholic husbands in general displayed lower rates of facilitative-enhancing communication than did their wives. CONCLUSIONS: Husband-to-wife marital aggression was associated with problematic communication among couples with an alcoholic husband during a sober interaction in a laboratory setting, extending prior nonalcoholic community sample research to male alcoholics' relationships. The maritally aggressive alcoholics were high in negative responses contingent upon their wives' prior negative behavior, and were unlikely to terminate aversive interchanges. Communication problems may be important in understanding and treating co-occurring alcoholism and marital violence. SN - 0096-882X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8979216/Couple_communication_patterns_of_maritally_aggressive_and_nonaggressive_male_alcoholics_ L2 - https://www.jsad.com/doi/10.15288/jsa.1997.58.83 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -