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One way married couples may be able to resolve conflicts

This is Science Today. Married couples who refer to themselves using pronouns such as "we", "our" and "us" are better able to resolve conflicts than those who don't. Those were the findings of a University of California, Berkeley study that analyzed conversations between 154 middle-aged and older couples about points of disagreement in their marriages.

Seider:            All couples are confronted with how they reconcile the delicate balance between maintaining their own individual identity as well, and establishing a collective identity as a couple. And how they do that may be related to how successful they are in their marriage.

Narrator:       Benjamin Seider, a graduate student in the clinical sciences department, says one of the surprising findings was that using "we" words were not related to marital satisfaction.

Seider:            Prior research had suggested that this concept of  "we-ness" was related to marital satisfaction. But we found that the "we" words themselves weren't. And I think that that's because the "we" words are helping the couple regulate the emotions during their interactions.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.