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Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Randall Koper

First Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Second Committee Member

Carol Ann Hackley

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of extraversion and maintenance strategy choice on perceived relational satisfaction in marital dyads. Three research questions were addressed in this study. RQ #1 examined the relationship between extraversion and maintenance strategy preference. RQ #2 examined the various introvert/extravert (i/e) combinations to determine if satisfaction was reported higher or lower in any of the dyad combinations. RQ #3 investigated the correlation between maintenance strategy choice and satisfaction. Participants (71 married couples with diverse ages and lengths of marriage) were administered three measures for evaluation: a marital satisfaction measure, an i/e measure, and a maintenance strategy assessment. It was anticipated that individuals characterized by different degrees of extraversion would rely on different relational maintenance strategies to restore marital equity. Out of five groupings of relational maintenance strategies (assurances, positivity, reliance on social networks, openness, and sharing tasks), a statistically significant correlation was found to exist only between extraversion and reliance on social networks. The correlation suggests that the more extraverted a person is, the more he/she will attempt to use communication and disclosure techniques with common friends and family to help maintain the marital relationship. Within the context of reported marital satisfaction, no statistically significant differences were found to exist between any of the four marital pairings for i!e in marital dyads. This finding informs us that marital satisfaction, in and of itself, does not appear to have any significant relationship to the i/e dynamic. Finally, three of the maintenance strategies (positivity, networking, and assurances) were significantly correlated with marital satisfaction. The assurances strategy, in particular, was an especially strong correlate, revealing that couples who use assuring maintenance strategies in their communication report higher satisfaction in their marriages.

Pages

62

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