Reconsidering What Predicts Marital Success

Presented on: Wednesday, April 27th at 12:00 PM EDT

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Johnson begins his 2016 book, Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage by asking, "Overall, how satisfied are you with your life?" He poses this question because the best way to predict the answer is by answering this question, “Overall, how satisfied are you with your current intimate relationship?” Predicting the answer to the second question has been Johnson's research focus for his entire career. In this talk, Johnson will summarize what he has learned about marriage and other intimate relationships over the course of more than 20 years at Binghamton University.  

In Johnson’s research, he aims to predict and prevent the developmental course of marital distress and family dysfunction. He does this by determining the mechanisms by which discord follows the glow of courtship. He focuses especially on those predictors that are more readily amenable to change, including the behaviors, cognitions and emotions of the two partners. In this talk, he will reconsider a widely accepted theoretical model of what predicts marital success and propose other aspects of marriage that may hold more promise as points of intervention.

Johnson is professor of psychology at Binghamton University and director of the clinical psychology PhD program. He conducts research in clinical psychology examining the developmental course of marital distress and family dysfunction, much of it summarized in Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage (Wiley, 2016). Extensions of his research include outcome research on programs designed to prevent marital distress and dissolution; the genetic and hormonal influence on marital behavior; and the assessment, prevention and treatment of intimate partner violence. Formerly an APA Executive Branch Science Fellow placed at the National Institute of Justice and the White House, he is also interested in how psychological science can inform public policy.

The views expressed by presenters are their own and their appearance in a program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Binghamton University.