A significant source of confusion in the marital observation area is the proliferation of systems for collapsing microbehavioral codes into categories. This study used an archival data set of 995 couples' videotaped conflict negotiations coded with the Marital Interaction Coding System-IV (MICS). A factor analysis was conducted to provide some empirically based guidance for the formation of coding categories. Four factors emerged for both men and women: Hostility, Constructive Problem Discussion, Humor, and Responsibility Discussion. Suggestions are made for category formation with MICS codes and for the development of a new coding system based on these results.
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