Gender and Close Relationships: Current Projects

Vogel, D. L., Fisher, G., & Bitman, R. (in progress). Couples communication and stereotype threat.

The goal of this study is to examine couple’s communication patterns. In particular, the factors involved in the occurrence of avoidant communication behaviors by partners during couples’ problem discussions. One theory is that stereotype threat plays a role in the use of avoidant behaviors by men during problem solving discussions. Men are often told by society that they are not good at relationships or that they are bad communicators. These messages may affect how they react during problem-solving discussion with their partner by reducing their ability to effectively respond to requests for change and thereby increasing avoidant behaviors. This study will be the first to examine this idea.