Orsolya Filep1, Dr. Tamás Martos2
1 Semmelweis University / Institute of Mental Health, Budapest
2 University of Szeged / Institute of Psychology, Szeged
Introduction: Personal goals (e.g.: personal projects) are a motivational units organizing people’s efforts to manage their life. Recent theories suggest that interdependent people (e.g.: romantic couples) can be conceptualized as one self-regulating system, where both partners pursue multiple interdependent goals which are circularly related to how they coordinate their aspirations together.
Aims: This study aims to explore how couples with different content domains of personal goals perceive their level of cooperation and conflicts.
Method: A crossectional data of 270 cohabiting and married Hungarian heterosexual couples was used. An adapted version of the Personal Project Assessment procedure was completed by partners separately where they chose four important personal projects then evaluated their experiences with the chosen personal projects along several predefined aspects. These included how often they experienced cooperation and conflicts while working on each one of their listed projects. The content domains were labeled into predefined categories.
Results: First, to identify meaningful thematic groups, cluster analysis was executed on the content domains. Four groups emerged labeled as (1) practical orientation; (2) learning orientation; (3) work orientation; and (4) health and others orientation which were then dummy coded using practical orientation as a reference category. Second, Actor-Partner Interdependence Model was used to analyze data from both partners. Learning goal orientation was associated with less observed cooperation by both spouses. Similarly, learning orientation contributed also to reduced level of conflict in the relationship, but only in case of males. For both partners work orientation contributed to reduced frequency of conflicts perceived by their partners.
Conclusion: Different content domain patterns were identified that capture meaningful thematic patterns. Results indicate that learning goals might be more individualistic pursuits even in the context of a romantic relationship which involves less observed joint effort including both cooperation and conflicts.
IV. Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences.
Program: 03. Sociological and mental health approaches to resources for individuals and communities.
Supervisor: Dr Tamás Martos
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