Dating relationships and the demand/withdraw pattern of communication

  • Vogel D
  • Wester S
  • Heesacker M
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Abstract

This study examines whether a female-demand/male-withdraw pattern occurs in dating relationships and whether this response increases during discussions of difficult topics. One hundred and eight individuals (women = 60, men = 48) currently in a dating relationship completed the Communication Patterns Questionnaire, Short Form (CPQSF) regarding either a difficult or nondifficult discussion. The racial composition of the undergraduate student population at the time the study was conducted was 68.8% Caucasian, 8.9% Hispanic, 8.9% International, 6.0% African American, 5.6% Asian American, and 1.8% Native American (data on socioeconomic status were unavailable). Results show that dating couples do employ a predominantly female-demand/male-withdraw pattern, which increases in response to difficult discussions. However, this study also found that many dating couples employed male-demand/female-withdraw or equal demand/withdraw patterns. Post hoc tests also showed that couples exhibiting either female-demand/male-withdraw or male-demand/female-withdraw patterns were more ingrained in specific negative behavior patterns, employed more demand/withdraw behaviors, and exhibited less positive behaviors than couples with an equal demand/withdraw pattern

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Authors

  • David L. Vogel

  • Stephen R. Wester

  • Martin Heesacker

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