Communication Skills, Conflict Tactics and Mental Health: A Study of Married and Cohabitating Couples in Malaysia

Cai Lian Tam, Teck Heang Lee, Yie Chu Foo, Yet Mee Lim


The main purpose of the study is to examine the interrelationships of communication skills, conflict tactics, and mental health of married and cohabitating couples in Malaysia. The study also investigated how an individual’s conflict tactics would affect spouse’s reaction. Participating in the study were 400 married or cohabitating couples from Selangor state of Malaysia. The research instruments used were General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), and Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA). The research findings reveal significant relationships between conflict tactics and mental health, conflict tactics and spouse’s communication response, conflict tactics and communication skills, and between communication skills and mental health. In summary, the study shows that couples with better communication skills and conflict tactics have better mental health.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)    Email: 

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