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Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto)

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VILLA, Miriam Bratfisch  and  DEL PRETTE, Zilda Aparecida Pereira. Marital Satisfaction: The Role of Social Skills of Husbands and Wives. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto) [online]. 2013, vol.23, n.56, pp.379-388. ISSN 0103-863X.

Among the multiple determinants of marital satisfaction, evidence points to the social skills of married couples. This study investigates the correlations between these constructs, cross-correlating data from husband and wives. A total of 406 married individuals, 188 men and 218 women, completed the Marital Satisfaction Scale, Social Skills Inventory (SSI-Del-Prette) and Marital Social Skills Inventory (MSSI-Villa&Del-Prette). The results revealed a significant correlation among the scores of the three instruments, confirming the relationship between marital satisfaction and the social skills of married couples. In the cross-correlations, three classes of marital social skills (proactive self-control, reactive self-control and expressiveness/empathy) were more strongly correlated to husbands’ marital satisfaction, and husbands’ three social skills (assertive conversation, self-assertiveness and expressiveness/empathy) were correlated with wives’ marital satisfaction. Gender differences concerning the importance of one spouse’s social skills leading to the other spouse’s satisfaction are stressed as an item to be used in detailed diagnostics and effective interventions with couples. Some issues for future research are also discussed.

Keywords : social skills; marriage; marital relations; gender.

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