Date of Award:

1998

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Lani M. Van Dusen

Abstract

It is well documented that the communication patterns of distressed couples are characterized by more negative and fewer positive behaviors. It has also been postulated that there is an association between physiological arousal and negative behaviors. According to this theory, as individuals become increasingly aroused, the number of negative behaviors also increases. This study explored the relationship between physiological arousal and marital communication. The three couples participating in the study received intensive biofeedback training with the hypothesis that an ability to control physiological arousal would result in improved marital communications. The Rapid Couples Interaction Scoring System was employed as a measurement of overt behavior, and physiological arousal was measured by electromyographic levels. The findings of this study suggest that, for some, biofeedback training is an effective intervention to improve marital communications.

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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