Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair(s)

Renee V. Galliher


Renee V. Galliher


Melanie Domenech Rodriguez


Carolyn Barcus


Few studies exist that examine Latino romantic relationships; even fewer assess interpersonal power among romantically involved Latino adolescent couples. This observational study investigated interaction, negotiation of power, and communication styles of Latino adolescents in current romantic relationships. Twenty-nine participating couples (ages 14-21) were recruited from a small Rocky Mountain community; all identified as being of Latino decent. Couples were digitally videotaped during problem solving conversations and completed a video recall procedure administered directly 11 following the recording. The Quality of Relationship Inventory (QRI) was completed by all couple members as a measure of their overall relationship quality. In addition to this, the Global Assessment Scale (GAS), which measured feelings of honesty, being attacked, misunderstood, and conversation control was administered to each couple member after videotaping. The video recall procedure captured positive and negative aspects of interaction, negotiation of power, and skillfulness in problem solving. Power dynamics for each conversation were also rated by an outside observer on dominance through talking and dominance through not listening scale. Overall, these couples rated their relationship quality positively and viewed their own and partner's behavior positively as well. Low levels of dominance through talking and dominance through not listening were observed to be used by couple members as a means to handle conflict during the conversation. The majority of the couples were observed to be mutually engaged in the conversations and appear to have good problem solving skills. However, higher ratings of power inequity by both couple members and observers were linked to lower overall relationship quality, with differing patterns of correlation for male and female couple members.



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