8. Conflict Avoidance in Families

  1. Patricia Noller2 and
  2. Gery C. Karantzas3
  1. John P. Caughlin,
  2. Jennifer L. Hardesty and
  3. Ashley V. Middleton

Published Online: 23 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444354119.ch8

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships

How to Cite

Caughlin, J. P., Hardesty, J. L. and Middleton, A. V. (2012) Conflict Avoidance in Families, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships (eds P. Noller and G. C. Karantzas), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444354119.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Queensland, 4072, Australia

  2. 3

    School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia

Author Information

  1. Department of Communication, MC-456, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, United States, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 APR 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 JAN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334500

Online ISBN: 9781444354119



  • communication and conflict processes in couples and families;
  • conflict avoidance in families;
  • conflict avoidance becoming problematic, engaging in conflict;
  • conflict avoidance and poor adjustment in family relationships;
  • constructive conflict management techniques;
  • conflicts in marriage, correlate of poor relational quality;
  • conflict avoidance, more or less detrimental to relationships;
  • avoidance behaviors;
  • individuals' beliefs about conflict avoidance, shaping impact of the avoidance;
  • abused women, using conflict-avoidance strategies to prevent violence


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Case Against Conflict Avoidance

  • Reasons to Question Whether Conflict Avoidance is Inherently Problematic

  • Some Potential Benefits of Conflict Avoidance

  • Factors that Influence the Effects of Conflict Avoidance

  • Meaning of Avoidance Behaviors

  • The Context of Conflict Avoidance

  • Practical Implications

  • References