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Relational Turbulence and Openness to Social Network Support for Marital Conflicts

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This paper examines associations between relational turbulence, whether people talk about marital conflicts with their close social network members, and defensive processing of hypothetical support messages. Married adults (N = 479) identified a disagreement within their marriage and indicated whether they discussed the disagreement with a social network member. Those who did (n = 292), evaluated a hypothetical support message and completed measures assessing defensive processing. Relational turbulence was not significantly associated with disclosure about marital conflicts, but it was positively associated with counterarguing, source derogation, and negative affect, which in turn, were negatively associated with evaluations of support quality.

Keywords: Defensive Processing; Motivated Reasoning; Relational Turbulence; Social Support; Supportive Communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kellie St.Cyr Brisini () is an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University in the Department of Communication Studies.Denise Haunani Solomon ([email protected]) is a Liberal Arts Professor at The Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences where Xi Tian ([email protected]) is a postdoctoral teaching fellow., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2022

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