Keck, Kathryn Laura
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This thesis examined the influence of goals on the use of conflict tactics in serial arguments through the sequential analysis of 47 close friend and dating partner’s conflict interactions. It was posited that the importance ratings of instrumental, relational and identity goals (Clark & Delia, 1979) would be relevant to the interaction and predictive of integrative, distributive and avoidant tactics (Sillars, 1980). The results indicated that multiple goals direct tactics. Overall, instrumental and self-identity goals predicted distributive behavior, other-identity goals predicted supportive behavior, and identity and relational concerns predicated issue oriented behavior. Only distributive behavior patterns emerged for the initiators of the conflict, while resistors also had integrative patterns. Both integrative and distributive patterns were found across individuals indicating that one partner influenced the goals and behavior of the other. Finally, the importance of both a cognitive and interactive perspective for understanding how multiple goals direct behavior was considered.