Does Gender Difference Play a Role in Marital Conflict  Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

relational research question; directional hypothesis) and why you are using that type.

This research study is an inquiry into the role of gender in marital conflict. The purpose of the study is not to assess the nature of the role of gender in marital conflict, for it is not presumed that such a role exists. Rather, the answer we seek is a Boolean one; we will accept the null hypothesis that gender does not play a role in marital conflict. In as much, this is a directional hypothesis; we question whether or not the independent variable, "gender," results in a change in the dependent variable, "marital conflict." We will assume all marital relationships to have two people.

It is important to be specific when we say gender. For instance, studies have been done to show how the acceptance of feminist values has influenced a couple; these are referred to as an analysis of gender roles. The purpose of this specific study is to analyze whether or not, when a problem exists, if it is influenced by the genders of the respective halves of the couple or on certain roles they play; for instance, if an argument over child care between a working father and his unemployed wife would follow the same route as an argument between a working mother and his unemployed husband.

To analyze the male (for instance in terms of conflict while ignoring that conflict, by nature, is recursive) would put us at a disadvantage. At best, we would be required to look at the relationship between a certain type of woman and behavioral category of women who would remain constant, and a test group of different kinds of men. For the sake of analysis, it is more enlightening to include homosexual couples when looking at how marital conflict is affecting a couple. However, men and women in such relationships cannot be considered to behave characteristically of men and women, and so this cannot be the center of our comparison. Our only solution is to analyze couples that encompass a normal distribution of emotional behavior. We will analyze couples in groups according to like-characteristics in terms of things that have been proven to materially affect relationships: the foremost of these being poverty status and fidelity, followed closely by the size and nature of the family that the married couple has and whether or not they live with the couple, and their respective ages.

2. Using integrated writing (see Research Task 3) provide a 1-2-page synthesis of what you have learned from the research on your topic.

Make sure you use appropriate APA citation format in the text (e.g. Jones, 1998). You should primarily use paraphrasing with only very selective quoting. In your 1-2 pages, you should refer to the primary variables measured, the data collection methods used, and conclusions provided in at least 4 research sources . In addition, feel free to draw on your non-research sources as you construct your synthesis.

A study performed at the University of Ohio at Columbus has shown that women and men behave differently in conflict situations independently of other factors. According to the study, negative or hostile behaviors during conflict such as, criticism, sarcasm, put downs or denigration were associated with increased levels of stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and ACTH, as well as a higher amount of immunological change, and that these hormone levels differed significantly between men and women. (Daly, M., 1996) The study noted that conflict behavior was also associated with "antibody titers to latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), suggesting that differences in cellular immune function preceded the 24-hour period of study; the cellular immune response is responsible, in part, for the steady state expression of latent EBV." (Kiecolt-Glasser et all, 1997) The study specifically noted women as being susceptible to longer-term altered hormone levels and lowered immunodeficiency levels after the fight was over. Hormone levels specifically altered were epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol, as well as ACTH, growth hormone and prolactin.

Behavior patters during arguments observed during arguments varied immensely between men and women. Men tended to "tune out" their wives during and argument, seeking an escape from the conflict. Women were more likely to complain, criticize or demand change in a relationship. The women are further provoked by the husband's withdrawal from such conflicts. (Hotaling et. All, 1986).

Other studies have noted the social partition between males and females quo reproduction as being characterized by the pursuit of mating in males, versus paternal investment in females (Trivers, 1972; Low, 1978.) This dichotomy leads the sexes to possess distinct attributes that are partly complementary and partly antagonistic, which are reflected in humans most apparently in the pairing of married couples, where both male and female assume an investment role in the raising of offspring.

3. Provide a Reference List in APA format, listing the 8 sources you have collected on your topic (see Research Task 2), including your 4 research sources.

Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Glaser, R., Cacioppo, J.T., MacCallum, R.C., Snydersmith, M., Kim, C., Malarkey, W.B. (1997) Marital conflict in older adults: Endocrinological and immunological correlates. Psychosomatic Medicine, 59:339-349

Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Newton, T., Cacioppo, J.T., MacCallum, R.C., Glaser, R., & Malarkey, W.B. (1996). Marital conflict and endocrine function: Are men really more physiologically affected than women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 324-332.

Daly, M. & Wilson, M. (1996). Evolutionary Psychology and Marital Conflict: The Relevance of Stepchildren. In D.M. Buss & N. Malamuth (Eds.), Sex, power, conflict: feminist and evolutionary perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, pp 9-28.

Malarkey, W.B., Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Pearl, D., & Glaser, R. (1994) Hostile behavior during marital conflict affects pituitary and adrenal hormones. Psychosomatic Medicine, 56, 41-51.

Trivers, R.L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.),

Sexual selection and the descent of man 1871-1971. Chicago: Aldine, pp. 136-

Trivers, R.L. (1974). Parent-offspring conflict. American Zoologist, 14, 249-264.

Messinger, L. (1976). Remarriage between divorced people with children from previ- ous marriages: A proposal for preparation for remarriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 2, 193-199.

Hotaling, G.T., & Sugarman, D.B. An analysis of risk markers in husband to wife violence: The current state of knowledge. Violence and Victims, 2, 101-

4. Assume that another ASU West student wants to check on your research sources. They want to locate two of your research sources using electronic databases in Fletcher Library (so they can read them for themselves). For each of the two sources, explain in a few sentences how this person could locate the sources.

Recreate the steps you used to locate the sources. Identify the database, the search terms, and other relevant search criteria they would need to locate the article or book.

I will give an example using two of my sources, one of which is readily available in PDF format over the Internet, and the other which is not.

In the first case, that of B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man 1871-1971. Chicago: Aldine. 1972.

Any given person can go to the card catalog at the library and make an inquiry under title or author (where one uses the name of the editor, not the cited contributor.) If this does not avail, the student might approach one of the librarians and ask for her assistance in procuring an inter-library loan.

In another case, that of D.M. Buss & N. Malamuth (Eds.), Sex, power, conflict: feminist and evolutionary perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

One need only type several key words (like Malamuth and sex) into a search field.

5. Identify your independent and dependent variables (if you have only one of these, just identify one).

In a few sentences each, explain which of the specific measurement techniques (self-report, other-report, behavioral acts) you will use to operationalize each variable. Give reasons for your choice. Review the material in chapter 4 .

As stated in the introduction, the study is designed to determine whether or not gender plays a role in marital conflict. The independent variable is gender, and the dependent variable is gender conflict.

6. Identify which of the four research methodologies you would use.

Once you have identified the general methodology, choose among the specific options. In a few sentences, explain why this methodology is the best approach to your research question. .

A chose content analysis as my methodology, as it is the method for which the most data has already been collected. Specifically, I will find the results of other studies that deal with marital conflict and use them to illustrate that roles in this conflict are inherently gender-dependent. I will complement this with a survey research-based methodology where I will review the opinions of therapists and clinicians.

7. In 3-4 sentences explain your sampling approach and why you will use it .

In reviewing the opinions of clinicians and marriage therapists, I will attempt to question experts who have attempted to mediate conflicts. These people I will be sure to instruct to tell me the role that gender played independent…

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