Author(s): Fisher L, Nakell LC, Terry HE, Ransom DC
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Abstract This article explores the broad patterning of interrelationships between family Emotion Management and adult Health in a community-based sample of 225 families. Emotion Management refers to how emotion is expressed, acknowledged, and managed by the marital partners. Fifteen reliable-observer ratings of husband-wife behavior were made during each of three 10-minute Emotion Management Interaction Tasks (EMITs). Each of the three tasks "pulled" for the expression of a different emotional theme: loss, intimacy, or conflict. A principle components analysis of the 15 ratings yielded a poor solution. A nonmetric, multidimensional scaling analysis described a two-dimensional, bipolar display with ordering among the variables in each of two wings. One dimension reflected positive versus negative Emotion Management characteristics, and the second reflected active and overt versus passive or covert emotional expression. The pattern of relationships among the couple ratings was similar for each of the three tasks. Using canonical correlation, the couple ratings demonstrated significant associations with 14 adult Health scores for both husbands and wives for the intimacy and conflict tasks, but not for the loss task. Specific gender patterns also emerged. In general, couple overt emotional aversiveness was negatively associated with husbands' health, and couple emotional avoidance/distance was negatively associated with wives' health.
This article was published in Fam Process
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access