Response Thresholds and Demand/Withdraw Communication in Domestic Labor Conflict

Kendra Knight, Janet Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Guided by Alberts, Tracy, and Trethewey’s (2011) integrated theory of the division of domestic labor (ITDDL), this study examines the influence of domestic labor response threshold on demand/withdraw communication in domestic labor conflict. Response threshold represents the point at which a negative stimulus produced by an unperformed task is of sufficient intensity to compel an individual to attend to it. One hundred and fifty-five heterosexual marital dyads (mean length of marriage = 19.98 years) completed an online questionnaire about their household labor conflict and response thresholds. Response thresholds were assessed using a photograph-based measure, and data were analyzed via an actor-partner interdependence model. Consistent with theoretical predictions, a significant actor-threshold-by-partner-threshold-by-sex interaction predicted reported demand/withdraw in domestic labor conflict. Individuals with low or mean response thresholds reported more self-demand/partner-withdraw the higher their partner’s response threshold, and this effect was more pronounced among women than men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication

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