Redefining quality interpersonal communication and communication activities in marriage from divorcees’ perspectives


Quality interpersonal communication is essential in the development and maintenance of any relationship, including marriage. As society adapts to new avenues of communication, married couples often underestimate the relevance of interpersonal communication in their relationship due to their lack of understanding of quality interpersonal communication. Therefore, this study investigated the conceptualisation of quality interpersonal communication through the lens of Relational Dialectic Theory and communication activities in marriage from the perspectives of divorcees. This study also explored the antecedents of poor-quality interpersonal communication and its repercussions on married couples. The present study also extended Knapp’s Relational Development Model by incorporating communication technology as a medium of communication. In-depth interviews were conducted on 20 divorcees from different states in Malaysia, chosen through a purposive sampling technique. The gathered data was then evaluated and combined in a thematic data analysis using the NVivo 12 software. This study discovers that the definitions of quality interpersonal communication are divided into seven (7) categories, with communication skills, intimacy, and characters identified as the top three significant traits. Results of this study also indicate that spouses use various medium of communication based on their circumstances but prefer face-to-face communication. However, communication occurrences between spouses are low and mostly negative, with the majority of them mainly involving households and children. The other antecedents of poor-quality interpersonal communication are communication skills, attitudes, third-party involvement, and emotional condition. The current study concludes that emotional condition is one of the protuberant effects of poor-quality interpersonal communication. All in all, the current study provides a new paradigm in Knapp’s Relational Development Model through the incorporation of the effects of poor-quality interpersonal communication into the deterioration stages of the model

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