Evidence in support of an association between attributions and behavior in marital interaction is incomplete and subject to alternative interpretations. To address this problem, 120 newlywed spouses completed measures of marital satisfaction and marital attributions and participated in 2 interaction tasks. In one task, spouses discussed a marital difficulty with their partner. In the other task, one spouse described a personal difficulty that he or she wanted to resolve while the partner provided support; these roles were then reversed. To the extent that wives offered maladaptive attributions, they tended to behave in ways that hindered problem resolution in both tasks. Attributions and behavior were more strongly related among wives than husbands and among relatively distressed spouses than nondistressed spouses.
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