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‘Youth’s Conflict Resolution Strategies in their Dating Relationships’

Authors
  • COURTAIN, Audrey1, 2, 3
  • GLOWACZ, Fabienne2, 3
  • 1 FRESH doctoral grant – from the Fund for Scientific Research (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique), Bruxelles, Belgium , Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • 2 Université Liège, Service de Psychologie Clinique de la Délinquance - Faculté de Psychologie, Logopédie et des Sciences de l’Education FPLSE, 1 Place des Orateurs, Liège, Belgium , Liège (Belgium)
  • 3 Unité de Recherche ARCh (Adaptation, Résilience et Changement), Liège, Belgium , Liège (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Sep 20, 2018
Volume
48
Issue
2
Pages
256–268
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10964-018-0930-6
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Youth can experience conflicts with their dating partner and then need strategies to solve such conflicts. Research is scarce regarding positive conflict resolution strategies in a dating context. Considering research on various interpersonal relationships (e.g. friendships, dating, marriage), the present study examined how dimensions of empathy, verbal skills and impulsivity can contribute to the use of positive conflict resolution strategies in dating relationships. The sample is made up of 813 youth attending secondary schools or a regional college (71.7% female, mean age = 18.9, age range 14.2–24.9). They completed self-administered questionnaires investigating positive conflict resolution strategies, as well as dimensions of empathy (i.e., fantasy, perspective-taking, empathic concern, and personal distress), verbal skills (similarities and figurative language) and impulsivity (positive urgency, negative urgency, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, and sensation seeking). The results reveal sex differences and developmental improvements on several factors. The findings showed that specific dimensions of empathy and verbal skills foster the use of positive conflict resolution strategies whereas specific dimensions of impulsivity and one dimension of empathy hamper it. Both sexes shared a common correlate: the propensity toward perspective-taking fostered the use of positive conflict resolution strategies. In addition to highlighting correlates of positive conflict resolution strategies in dating relationships, this study can contribute to programs dedicated to the promotion of healthy dating relationships among adolescents and emerging adults.

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