SOURCE: Vision Media

Vision Media

May 25, 2010 03:06 ET

For Healthy Families Research Says Silence Is Not Golden - Discusses Relationship Advice Supported by Current Family Research

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - May 25, 2010) -  It comes as no surprise that good communication is crucial for building healthy family relationships, but are all communication styles equal? If you've been following the old relationship advice that if you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all, you may be surprised at the combined findings of several recent studies suggesting that silence may not really be the best solution to communication problems. A new family and relationships article from synthesizes some of the latest family psychology research that focuses on good communication styles.

One of the studies examined by the article's author, Gina Stepp, finds an interesting twist to the benefits of expressing gratitude within relationships. "We tend to expect that expressing gratitude to our partner will strengthen his or her investment in the relationship," acknowledges Stepp. "But what Nathaniel Lambert and his colleagues concluded was that it also increases the strength of our own sense of personal investment in the relationship. The simple exercise of finding as few as five things to express gratitude about each week may be the simplest and most effective first step toward bringing couples and families closer together."

But what if you can find nothing to be grateful for? Is that the time to invoke the cliché and "say nothing at all?" Not so, say researchers. Avoidance could potentially be as detrimental to relationship quality as destructive strategies, which include the use of inflammatory or emotional language, accusations, yelling or criticism.

"If you really can't think of anything to be grateful for you may find yourself with more than simply relationship problems," says Stepp. "The literature suggests that people who have a hard time finding reasons for gratitude may also find themselves with impaired psychological as well as physical health."

Building healthy families means working on our communication skills. Instead of eliminating conversation entirely, Stepp offers other alternatives for improving family communication in the new article from, "Silence Is Not Golden."

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    Edwin Stepp
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    626 535-0444 ext 105