Cross-Cultural Consistency of the Demand/Withdraw Interaction Pattern in Couples


Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 156304; Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563 (


In order to examine the cross-cultural consistency of several patterns of couple communication, 363 participants from four different countries (Brazil, Italy, Taiwan, and the United States) completed self-report measures about communication and satisfaction in their romantic relationships. Across countries, constructive communication was positively associated with relationship satisfaction, whereas demand/withdraw communication was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. Woman demand/man withdraw communication was significantly more likely than man demand/woman withdraw communication. Also, some evidence suggested women wanted greater closeness versus independence in their relationships than did men. Differences between partners in desire for closeness versus independence were associated with greater demand/withdraw communication. The possible bases for the demand/withdraw pattern of communication and its gender linkage are discussed.