Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 2004


Communication Studies 55:2 (Summer 2004), pp. 271–285.

doi: 10.1080/10510970409388619


Copyright © 2004 Central States Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


In interpersonal relationships characterized by aggression, the negotiation of conflict is especially significant. The present study examined the conflict management strategies used by 31 individuals who had experienced verbal and/or physical aggression during conflicts with their partners. Sillars’ (1986) conflict tactics coding system was used as a framework to analyze 960 pages of transcribed data. The results of this deductive content analysis indicated that the participants reported using primarily Distributive conflict strategies. Analytic induction was also used to interpret nonverbal forms of conflict management, revealing three common tactics: crying, nonverbal avoidance, and aggression. Implications for using these conflict strategies in interpersonal relationships characterized by aggression are discussed.