Antecedents and consequences of negotiation in marital decision- making

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Virginia Tech


The relationship between marital negotiation strategies and various context and outcome factors are examined using responses from 249 women and men. Multiple regression analysis confirmed significant links between context factors and negotiation strategies. Self-esteem was important in explaining degree of reliance on some types of negotiation, as was emotional interdependence and perceived past cooperativeness of the marital partner. Training in communication skills did not affect women's style of negotiation but was significant for men. The strategy of simply telling the spouse what is wanted or needed was more important to reaching agreement and having a sense of fairness about the outcome than were strategies like bargaining, reasoning or threatening. These findings are discussed within a theoretical framework that gives consideration to negotiation as a process important to understanding marital power.