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Abstract

Using two very different sets of survey data, we investigated Gottman's (1994a, 1999) observational findings regarding couple-conflict types. We hypothesized that defensible couple-conflict types could be established using survey data based on an individual's perception of the style he or she uses in couple-conflict situations. Furthermore, we hypothesized that membership type would be related to relationship quality indicators such as satisfaction, stability, communication processes, and affect regulation. Our results showed that survey data can reliably produce couple-conflict types similar to Gottman’s. We further found that, on satisfaction, stability, positive communication, and soothing, hostile couple-conflict types had the lowest mean scores and validating couple-conflict types the highest mean scores. The types related in the opposite manner to negative communication, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and flooding. The other couple-conflict-type means - volatile and avoiding - are almost always between the extreme means of the hostile and validating couple-conflict types. Implications for research and practice conclude the article.