This research focused on use of power, decision-making and communication styles of spouses in marital dyads, and the level of marital satisfaction of the partners in these relationships. Drawing primarily on previous work involving Management Communication Style and decision-making styles in organizational and instructional communication contexts, but also examining directly relevant work within the marital context, three hypotheses and five research questions were advanced. Marital satisfaction for members of 136 marital dyads was examined to determine its relationship with self- and spouse-reported communication and decision-making styles and use of various power bases in communication designed to influence marital partner. The three hypotheses were supported by the findings: 1) Self-reported satisfaction as a member of a marital dyad was positively related to the spouse's use of a more co-active style of communication and decision-making; 2) Such satisfaction was positively related to one's spouse's communication of referent power; and 3) Such satisfaction was negatively related to one's spouse's communication of coercive power. Use of reward power was also found to be negatively associated with a spouse's marital satisfaction. With only one meaningful exception, results for husbands and wives were very similar.
- Communication styles