“After a fight, couples often say they hardly remember what they were quarrelling about in the first place. According to a new study from Baylor University, it’s usually over one thing: Control.”
That’s the way the Toronto Star summed up the recently reported findings of Dr. Keith Sanford, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. Sanford surveyed nearly 1,000 married individuals about what resolution they hoped for in their own marital conflicts. Above all else, the participants said they wanted their partners to relinquish power, perhaps by giving them more independence, by admitting faults, by showing respect or by being willing to compromise.
The results of Sanford’s work were first published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology and have since been picked up in such widespread media outlets as the Star, Newsweek, New York Magazine, and the UK’s Daily Mail.
Sanford came to Baylor in 2000 and, in addition to his teaching and research, is also a licensed psychologist. He has developed a free, interactive Internet program for couples called the “Couple Conflict Consultant,” which provides a personalized assessment of 14 areas of conflict resolution and a large resource bank of information and recommendations for couples.
Sic ’em, Dr. Sanford!