The Relationship Between Conflict Topics and Romantic Relationship Dynamics. By: Meyer, Dixie; Sledge, Renata. Journal of Family Issues. Feb2022, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p306-323. 18p.

Romantic coupling in the United States is changing (e.g., communication patterns). Research investigating couple conflict topics has not updated with current trends. A large, representative sample (n = 1,013) selected frequent couples conflict topics and reported relationship satisfaction and conflict behaviors. Results suggested communications was the most frequently reported conflict topic for all couples and parenting was the most frequently reported conflict topic for parents. Other commonly reported topics included personal/partner habits, household chores, finances, decision-making, quality time, sex, screen time, role expectations, and time management. Finances, parenting, and sex were negatively associated with relationship satisfaction, whereas household chores and time management were positively associated with relationship satisfaction. Communication, finances, parenting, and sex were associated with an increase in dysfunctional conflict behaviors, whereas time management was associated with a decrease in dysfunctional conflict behaviors. Understanding how conflict sources affect relationships may help couples navigate conflict to preserve the relationship.