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Abstract

This paper presents a reanalysis of a study (Sabatelli, Buck, & Drever, 1982) that related nonverbal communication accuracy in married couples to marital complaints, using the social relations model developed by Kenny and his colleagues The social relations model allows for the analysis of the communication process in a new and more complete way where, for the first time, the relative contributions of sender, receiver, and unique relationship effects to overall nonverbal communication accuracy can be assessed In addition, each of these factors can be related to marital complaints and the patterns of communication within dyads can be examined for the presence of complementarity/similarity and reciprocity/compensation The overwhelming percentage of variance in communication accuracy was accounted for by sender and unique relationship effects while little variance in communication accuracy was accounted for bv receiver effects In addition, no evidence of complementarity/similarity and only weak support for reciprocity/compensation in the communication abilities of wife and husband was found With regard to marital complaints, the most striking result was the negative correlation between wives' sending ability and husbands' complaints, a finding consistent with the previous report In addition, and consistent with the former analysis, the wives' unique abilities to decode their husbands' expressions were found to correlate negatively with the wives' marital complaints