Mapping the topography of couples' daily conversation

Jess K. Alberts, Christina G. Yoshimura, Michael Rabby, Rose Loschiavo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This article reports the results of an examination of the daily conversational behaviors of 10 satisfied couples over a period of 1 week. Examination of the data revealed that couples' conversations could productively be categorized into 13 categories (in order of frequency): self-report, observation, back-channel, other-report, TV talk, partner's experiences, miscellaneous/uncodable, household task talk, humor, plans, narratives, positivity, and conflict. Additional analyses indicated that couples were more likely to engage in conflict, humor, household task talk, planning and observations on the weekend, whereas their weekdays were distinguished by a greater occurrence of other-report, self-report, partner's experiences and narratives. Finally, examination of couples' daily satisfaction indicates that Wednesdays and Saturdays were the least satisfying days, whereas Mondays were the most satisfying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-322
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Communication
  • Conversation
  • Couples' talk
  • Interaction
  • Relational maintenance
  • Romantic relationships
  • Satisfaction


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