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Impact of Interpersonal Conflict on Individuals High in Unmitigated Communion


  • 1This study was supported in part by a faculty development award given to the second author by Carnegie Mellon University. Portions of the data were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, Monterey, CA, March 2001. The authors give special thanks to Deborah Polk for her assistance with data analyses.


The current study examined the impact of interpersonal conflict on mood and physical symptoms for individuals who scored high on a personality characteristic called unmitigated communion (UC), as compared to individuals who did not score high in UC. UC is defined as a focus on others to the exclusion of the self. Forty-one undergraduate students participated in 7 consecutive nightly interviews. Participants described their social interactions, indicated whether the interaction involved interpersonal conflict, and indicated their distress and physical symptoms at the end of the day. Multilevel modeling analysis demonstrated that conflict adversely affected UC and non-UC individuals similarly on the same day, but had a more negative impact for UC individuals on the following day.

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