THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IRRATIONAL RELATIONSHIP BELIEFS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION STRATEGIES IN YOUNG ADULTHOOD
Background: Maintaining romantic relationships is one of the most important developmental tasks in young adulthood. Lower relationship satisfaction is associated with more expressed irrational relationship beliefs (Janjani, Momeni, Rai, & Saidi, 2017). According to the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, irrational beliefs should cause maladaptive behavior in conflicts. However, it is not clear how particular irrational relationship beliefs are associated with specific conflict resolution strategies in young adulthood.
Purpose. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the link between irrational relationship beliefs and conflict resolution strategies in young adulthood.
Method. 148 young adults (110 female, 38 male) having romantic relationships participated in this study. The irrational relationship beliefs were assessed with a questionnaire by R. J. Eidelson and N. Epstein (1982). Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory – II (Rahim & Magner, 1995) was used to measure conflict resolution strategies.
Results: The results showed that the more expressed irrational belief “Disagreement is destructive” was related to higher use of dominating and avoiding and lower use of integrating and compromising conflict resolution strategies in young adulthood. The more expressed irrational belief “Partners cannot change” was associated with lower use of integrating and compromising conflict resolution strategies in young adulthood. No links between the irrational belief “Partners cannot change” and avoiding conflict resolution strategy were found in young adulthood. The more expressed irrational belief “The sexes are different” was associated with higher use of dominating conflict resolution strategy in young adulthood. The more expressed irrational belief “Sexual perfectionism” was related to lower use of integrating conflict resolution strategy in young adulthood.
Conclusions. Results of this study partially support Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Findings also could contribute to increasing effectiveness of psychological interventions designed to improve romantic relationship in young adulthood.
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