Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Number of Pages



Satisfaction in our intimate relationships, especially marriage, is central to our happiness in life. One of the most important factors in marital satisfaction and marriage duration is the successful resolution of conflicts. A distinguishable difference between happy and unhappy couples is that happy couples are able to resolve their conflicts satisfactorily. The success of conflict resolution has been measured in two ways: (1) The extent to which an agreement was reached, and (2) How satisfactory the resolution process was--the degree to which it was positive and not damaging to the relationship. The purpose of this study was to measure the outcome of conflict resolution in a third way: degree of follow-through. The questions asked were, "Do satisfied and dissatisfied couples follow through differently on their agreed-upon behavior changes?" and "Are there gender differences in follow through?" The present study assessed the conflict resolution behaviors of 37 couples. The couples were asked to identify, discuss, and propose solutions to problems in their relationship. Questionnaires measured such variables as satisfaction with the marriage, personality characteristics, and demographics. A follow-up was conducted approximately three weeks after the discussions to assess the degree of each partner's follow-through on resolutions. Results indicated that (1) Satisfied couples followed through on their agreed upon behavior changes significantly more than did dissatisfied couples; (2) Husbands perceived their wives as following through more than the husbands on both the husbands and wives' issues, whereas wives perceived both husbands and wives as following through more on their own issues and less on their spouses; (3) There was no significant correlation between follow through and sexual satisfaction. Minor hypotheses are discussed which involve the relationship of follow-through, selfishness, and equity of household task distribution.


Conflict; Factors; Follow; Happiness; Marital; Personal; Resolution; Satisfaction

Controlled Subject

Psychology; Clinical psychology; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

3778.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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