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Generalizability of Gottman and Colleagues’ Affective Process Models of Couples’ Relationship Outcomes


Oregon Social Learning Center, 10 Shelton McMurphey Blvd., Eugene, OR 97401 (


The generalizability of the affective process models of J. M. Gottman et al. (1998) was examined using a community-based sample of 85 married or cohabiting couples with at-risk backgrounds. Predictive associations between affective processes assessed at about age 21 years and relationship status and satisfaction assessed approximately 2.5 years later were examined. The major findings of Gottman et al. failed to replicate. In particular, men’s rejection of their partners’ influence, the lack of men’s de-escalation of partners’ negative affect, and women’s negative start-up were not predictive of relationship status. Further, differences in affective processes were found when comparing discussion sessions of the men’s versus the women’s chosen topics. The findings suggested that the validity and utility of the affective process models need further investigation.