Focusing on the Positive: Self-Selected Relationship Strengths as an Indicator of Relationship Distress

Sofie Ø. Warrington*, Tea Trillingsgaard, Astrid Bjørn Leth-Nissen, Hanne Nørr Fentz

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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This study examined categorical differences in self-selected relationship strengths between relationally distressed and non-distressed individuals participating in the brief couple intervention, the Marriage Checkup (MC). Participants received a baseline MC and a second one after 1 year. We utilized data collected at the startup of each of the two checkups. Our sample consisted of 321 participants at baseline and 284 participants at the 1-year time point. The hypotheses were that relationally distressed individuals would tend to select more relationship strengths that did not require an intimate or affectionate connection to their partner, whereas the opposite would be the case for non-distressed individuals. Results from independent sample t-tests from the two different time points supported the hypotheses for both men and women. These findings suggest that the tendency to select less intimate relationship strengths could serve as a novel marker of relationship distress that does not require individuals to consciously put their potential distress and problems into words and allows them to discuss these aspects through a more motivating and positively framed focus on their strengths.
TidsskriftJournal of Couple and Relationship Therapy
Sider (fra-til)62-77
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2024