Jason B. Whiting, PhD, Department of Applied and Professional Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Texas Tech University.
The Role of Appraisal Distortion, Contempt, and Morality in Couple Conflict: A Grounded Theory
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2008
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 34, Issue 1, pages 44–57, January 2008
How to Cite
Whiting, J. B. (2008), The Role of Appraisal Distortion, Contempt, and Morality in Couple Conflict: A Grounded Theory. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34: 44–57. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00052.x
Portions of this article were presented at the AAMFT National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, October 21, 2005, and the NCFR National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, November 16, 2005.
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2008
A common goal of couples’ therapy is to help individuals modify their view of each other and the relationship. Distorted views and appraisals contribute to conflict, and these can be manifest by use of rationalization or denial. This study explored appraisal distortion as an evaluative and moral process that occurs during partner conflict, particularly when it becomes contemptuous and aggressive. Using a philosophical base that is grounded in the ethical relationship, a model of appraisal distortion and couple conflict was created using constructivist grounded theory methods. The theoretical concepts derived from the data show relationships between one’s relational stance, appraisal distortion, and verbal and physical aggression. This model implies that helping individuals take responsibility for appraisals is important in treating conflict.