Alpha to Omega: A Neurological Analysis of Marital Conflict in a Pilot Study

Claire Kimberly, Ronald Werner-Wilson, Trent Parker, Joann Lianekhammy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Although the linkage between health and marriage has been noted (e.g., Hayward and Gorman in Demography 41:87-107. doi:10.1353/dem.2004.0005, 2004; Kaplan and Kronick in J Epidemiol Community Health 60:760-765. doi:10.1136/jech.2005.037606, 2006; Schoenborn in Marital status and health: United States, 1999-2002. Advance data from vital and health statistics. National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, 2004), understanding the connection between neurological and behavioral phenomena in marital relationships has yet to be tackled. This pilot study attempted to address this limitation by analyzing electrical brain activity during a conflict interaction between married couples. Results generally supported the work of Lazarus (Emotion and adaptation. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1991) and Harmon-Jones et al. (J Pers Soc Psychol 82:610-618. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.82.4.610, 2002); individuals that felt like they were in an action-possible situation revealed relatively higher left hemispheric activity in the frontal region of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • John Gottman
  • Neurofeedback
  • Social neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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