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Marital Conflict and Adjustment: Speech Nonfluencies in Intimate Disclosure

Elizabeth L. Paul, Kathleen M. White, Joseph C. Speisman, and Daryl Costos

Speech nonfluency in response to questions about the marital relationship was used to assess anxiety.  Subjects were 31 husbands and 31 wives, all white, college educated, from middle- to lower-middle-class families, and ranging from 20 to 30 years of age.  Three types of nonfluencies were coded:  filled pauses, unfilled pauses, and repetitions.  Speech-disturbance ratios were computed by dividing the sum of speech nonfluencies by the total words spoken.  The results support the notion that some issues within marriage are more sensitive and/or problematic than others, and that, in an interview situation, gender interacts with question content in the production of nonfluencies.
Paul, E., K. White, J. Speisman, & D. Costos 1987?? Marital Conflict and Adjustment: Speech Nonfluencies in Intimate Disclosure. In Journal of Genetic Psychology 149/2: 175-189.

Key points relevant to the study of filled pauses


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