Emotional Flooding in Response to Negative Affect in Couple Conflicts: Individual Differences and Correlates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explored whether individual differences in self-reported emotional flooding were associated with observational behaviors and experienced and displayed anger during a 10-min problem solving discussion. A sample of 233 married or cohabiting couples, comprising 4 groups (distressed with intimate partner violence [IPV], distressed/nonIPV, satisfied/IPV, and satisfied/nonIPV) was recruited via random digit dialing. Consistent with predictions, both men's and women's flooding were positively associated with partners' negative affect variables, including partners' experienced and displayed anger, as well as positively associated with their own anger. A multinomial logistic regression revealed significant differences between flooding in prediction of couples' group status; specifically that higher levels of emotional flooding were reported by distressed and IPV couples compared with other types of couples. Finally, couples that included at least 1 member high on self-reported emotional flooding were less effective in solving problems during the conflict discussion. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • Anger
  • Communication
  • Couples
  • Flooding
  • Intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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