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Relationship Characteristics and Conflict Reported in an Online Weekly Survey: Preliminary Results

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionKusunoki, Yasamin, Jennifer S. Barber, Heather Gatny, and Jamie Budnick. 2010. "Relationship Characteristics and Conflict Reported in an Online Weekly Survey: Preliminary Results." PSC Research Report No. 10-719. October 2010.

This paper examines the role of young women’s relationship characteristics on experiences of conflict within relationships. We use new longitudinal data from a weekly mixed-mode (online or phone) journal-based survey spanning two and half years. We investigate the effects of time-varying relationship characteristics that capture the intensity, instability, and asymmetry within and across relationships on conflict among a sample of almost 1000 18-21 year old women. The results are preliminary but suggest that the characteristics of young women’s relationships influence the likelihood of experiencing conflict net of important individual-level correlates and that the effects of relationship characteristics differ depending on the type of conflict examined (fought or argued only versus experienced verbal and/or physical conflict). Intensity of relationships increases the risk of both types of conflict while instability and asymmetry within relationships increases the risk of experiencing verbal or physical conflict only. In the final paper to be presented at the ASA conference, analyses will be expanded to include additional measures of asymmetry and cumulative measures of young women’s relationship experiences as well as measures of change within relationships. We will also explore data from semi-structured interviews to better understand the findings from the quantitative component of the study.

Country of focus: United States.

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