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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


VALOR-SEGURA, Inmaculada; EXPOSITO, Francisca  and  MOYA, Miguel. Powerful and Powerless Emotions in Partner Conflicts: Gender Differences. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2, pp.129-134. ISSN 2173-4712.

Conflict is inherent in all types of interpersonal relationships. It has especially important consequences in relationships involving high levels of interdependence, such as intimate relationships. Emotions are important to understand how people behave in their interpersonal relationships. Results from other studies suggest that women express powerless emotions like guilt, sadness or fear, and men express powerful emotions like anger or contempt. The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of emotions that men and women feel when in conflictive situations with their partner. In addition, we examined the effect of emotions on the prevalence of partner conflicts. A total of 142 undergraduate students participated in our study. We used a mixed factorial design with 5 different types of interpersonal conflicts as a within-participants variable, and sex as a between-participants variable. Participants then rated the emotions felt in each conflictive situation, as well as the frequency of partner conflicts. Results showed sex differences in emotions in each conflictive situation. Women felt all emotions more intensely. In men, however, powerful emotions predicted a higher prevalence of partner conflicts.

Keywords : emotions; partner conflicts; gender violence.

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