Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jonathan S. Gore

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Theresa Botts

Department Affiliation


Third Advisor

Robert W. Mitchell


The purpose of this study was to further our understanding of how individuals in heterosexual romantic relationships resolve conflict and why the identified persuasion attempts are occurring. This study proposes a two-pathway model of how socialization predicts conflict communication strategies through self-construal and relationship goals. It is hypothesized that a) gender socialization and romantic relationship power influence the dominate type of self-construal an individual holds, b) parenting goals are more strongly predicted by relational interdependent self-construal than physical self-construal and that mating goals are more strongly predicted by physical self-construal than relational interdependent self-construal, c) direct conflict communication strategies are more strongly predicted by mating goals. Indirect conflict communication strategies are more strongly predicted by parenting goals. Participants (n=241) completed an online survey of self-construal, gender socialization, romantic relationship goals, and conflict communication strategies. The results identified two pathways from gender socialization to conflict communication strategies with the feminine pathway producing better long-term strategies.

Included in

Psychology Commons