Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


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Wheeler, L.A., Updegraff, K.A., & Thayer, S. (2010). Conflict resolution in Mexican-origin couples: Culture, gender, and marital quality. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 991-1005.


Published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the National Council on Family Relations. Used by permission.

Downloadable here is the NIH Public Access Author Manuscript.

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This study examined associations between Mexican-origin spouses’ conflict resolution strategies (i.e., nonconfrontation, solution orientation, and control) and (a) gender-typed qualities and attitudes, (b) cultural orientations, and (c) marital quality in a sample of 227 couples. Results of multilevel modeling revealed that Mexican cultural orientations were positively associated with solution orientation, and Anglo cultural orientations were negatively associated with nonconfrontation. Expressive personal qualities were negatively associated with control, whereas instrumental qualities were positively related to control. Links between conflict resolution and marital quality revealed that control and nonconfrontation were associated with spouses’ ratings of marital negativity. In some cases, different patterns emerged for husbands and wives. Discussion highlights the role of culture and gender dynamics in marital relationships.