Observing gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples' relationships: mathematical modeling of conflict interaction

J Homosex. 2003;45(1):65-91. doi: 10.1300/J082v45n01_04.


Two samples of committed gay and lesbian cohabiting couples and two samples of married couples (couples in which the woman presented the conflict issue to the man, and couples in which the man presented the conflict issue to the woman) engaged in three conversations: (1) an events of the day conversation (after being apart for at least 8 hours), (2) a conflict resolution conversation, and (3) a pleasant topic conversation. The observational data were coded with a system that categorized specific affects displayed. Data were weighted and two time-series created, one for the husband and one of the wife. The time series were modeled with nonlinear difference equations (Cook et al., 1995), and parameters were estimated that indexed uninfluenced steady state, influenced steady state, emotional inertia, repair effectiveness and threshold, and the power of positive and negative affect of one partner to affect the other partner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Spouses / psychology*