As the first comprehensive volume to explore how marriages develop and deteriorate, The Developmental Course of Marital Dysfunction brings together leading scholars to present recent research on the longitudinal course of marriage. The chapters share a common focus on the early phases of marriage but address a diverse array of topics, including marital conflict, personality, social support, the transition to parenthood, violence, ethnicity, stress, alcohol use, commitment, and sexuality. Implications of this research for alleviating marital distress are also noted. The book concludes with six provocative analyses by prominent scholars in the areas of sociology, clinical psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology.
List of contributors; Foreword Robert L. Weiss; Introduction: the developmental course of marital dysfunction Thomas N. Bradbury; Part I. Conceptual and Empirical Contributions: 1. Communication in early marriage: responses to conflict, nonverbal accuracy and conversational patterns Patricia Noller and Judith A. Feeney; 2. Marital aggression, quality and stability in the first year of marriage: findings from the Buffalo newlywed study Kenneth E. Leonard and Linda J. Roberts; 3. Accommodation processes during the early years of marriage Caryl E. Rusbult, Victor L. Bissonnette, Ximena B. Arriaga and Chante L. Cox; 4. The psychological infrastructure of courtship and marriage: the role of personality and compatibility in romantic relationships Ted L. Huston and Renate M. Houts; 5. Happiness in stable marriages: the early years Joseph Veroff, Elizabeth Douvan, Terri L. Orbuch and Linda K. Acitelli; 6. Developmental changes in marital satisfaction: a 6-year prospective longitudinal study of newlywed couples Lawrence A. Kurdek; 7. The development of marriage: a 9-year perspective Kristin Lindahl, Mari Clements and Howard Markman; 8. Premarital predictors of relationship outcomes: a 15-year follow-up of the Boston couples study Charles T. Hill and Letitia Anne Peplau; 9. Optimizing longitudinal research for understanding and preventing marital dysfunction Thomas N. Bradbury, Catherine L. Cohan and Benjamin R. Karney; 10. Socialization into marital roles: testing a contextual, developmental model of marital functioning Irv Tallman, Peter J. Burke and Victor Gecas; 11. Physical aggression in marriage: a developmental analysis K. Daniel O'Leary and Michele Cascardi; Part II. Invited Commentaries: 12. On intervention and relationship events: a marital therapist looks at longitudinal research on marriage Andrew Christensen; 13. A developmentalist's perspective on marital change Ross D. Parke; 14. Couples, gender and time: comments on method David A. Kenny; 15. On the etiology of marital decay and its consequences: comments from a clinical psychologist John M. Gottman; 16. Problems and prospects in longitudinal research on marriage: a sociologist's perspective Norval D. Glenn; 17. A social psychological view of marital dysfunction and stability Ellen Berscheid; Author index; Subject index.