Violent couples: Coping and communication skills

George F. Ronan, Laura E. Dreer, Katherine M. Dollard, Donna W. Ronan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Twelve married couples court-ordered to attend a violence reduction treatment program completed self-report measures of anger, social problem-solving skills, and strategies employed for dealing with high-conflict situations. They were subsequently videotaped while discussing 3 different scenarios. Three raters independently coded the videotapes for the use of effective and ineffective communication strategies used by the participants. Aggregate reliability estimates were acceptable. No gender-based differences were found on the self-report measures or the communication skill ratings. When couples discussed low-conflict situations use of effective skills exceeded use of ineffective skills, and when couples discussed high-conflict problems use of ineffective skills exceeded use of effective skills. Implications for treatment of spousal assault are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Communication skills
  • Domestic violence
  • Marital interaction


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