ABSTRACT Can Attachment Behaviors Moderate the Influence of Conflict Styles on Relationship Quality? Cameron W. H. Hee School of Family Life, BYU Master of ScienceThe purpose of this study was to explore how conflict styles influence relationship quality and how that association is moderated by attachment behaviors in the relationship. The current study uses a sample of married couples (n =1718) who completed the Relationship Evaluation Survey (RELATE). Data was analyzed using an Actor-Partner Independence Model that allows for the testing of moderation. Results indicated that husbands and wives conflict style is significantly and positively associated with their own perception of relationship quality, with more extreme styles being associated with decreases in relationship quality. Wives conflict style was a significant predictor of husbands relationship quality, but husbands conflict style was not a significantly associated with wives marital quality. The model also suggested that an increased frequency of attachment behaviors in romantic relationships is significantly and positively associated with relationship quality for both husband and wives. When assessing for moderating effects, attachment behaviors did moderate the negative relationship between conflict style and relationship quality, for women at the trend level (P = .07). The clinical applications of these findings are discussed, to provide guidance for clinicians in assisting couples increase attachment behaviors (be more accessible, responsive, and engaged with their partners) to help them offset the negative influence of poor conflict styles.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy

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conflict style, attachment behaviors, marital quality