n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Psychosocial health indexing in marriage : a pilot study of emphatic accuracy, personal-relational dialetics, and gender in relationship maintenance among Ibibio couples




The social psychological literature contains numerous illustrations of how the social-cognitive perspective can inform our understanding of close relationships. Among the numerous forms of close relationships, marriage stands out as paramount in the preservation and sustenance of the human race. This study therefore examined marital relationship maintenance as influenced by empathic-accuracy, personal-relational dialectics and gender among Ibibio couples. The survey design was used and data was analysed using the independent t-test. Sixty-three participants (32 females and 31 males) living in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria participated in the study which sought to investigate these variables as aspects of psychological and social health indices in marriage. Three hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis which stated that there will be a statistically significant difference in marital relationship maintenance between empathically-accurate and empathically-inaccurate couples was confirmed (t = -2.58, df(50.00), p <.05). The empathically-accurate couples were better in relationship maintenance. The second hypothesis which tested statistically significant difference in relationship maintenance between couples who resolve their dialectical tensions on a personal equilibrium level and those who do so on a relational equilibrium level was also confirmed. (t = -2.15, df(40.4), p < .05). Relational equilibrium level couples maintained better relationships. The third hypothesis which tested gender differences in relationship maintenance confirmed females as better partners in relationship maintenance (t = -(56.01), p <.05). These results were discussed with implications on previous findings. The study therefore advocated that potential couples weigh relevant options and go on to contract only those marriages that would stand the test of time.


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