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Better communication skills, more satisfying marriages—is it true?

2017-09-12

Professor Thomas Bradbury from UCLA presented his latest findings on marital relationships in a public seminar on 12 September, 2017.The seminar was organized by the Research and Development Committee of the Department of Early Childhood Education.

Drawing on his own longitudinal and experimental research, Professor Bradbury found that dyadic communication behaviors of married couples, observed in the laboratory, were not predictive of marital satisfaction over time—a finding contradictory to many theories on marital relationships. Citing his other research on family interactions taking place outside the laboratory, such as in the participants’ homes, Professor Bradbury showed that married couples almost always communicate in the presence of others. Marital satisfaction may be more dependent on how spouses collaborate to take care of their children and manage the day-to-day operation of their families, than on how spouses communicate in dyadic settings.