ROLE OF COMMUNICATION IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION AMONG INTIMATE PARTNERS: A CASE STUDY OF UJAMAA MASHINANI IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
This study sought to investigate how conflict between intimate partners could be amicably resolved through the use of communication and economic empowerment. This research was carried in a study population of 206 survivors of intimate partner conflict and incorporated data collected from a sample of 77 survivors. The study was informed by the social conflict and Golla framework theories. Data from the respondents was collected through the use of questionnaires, interview guides for key informants and focus group discussion of participants. Quantitative data collected in the study was analyzed using descriptive statistics, which comprise measures of dispersion, measures of central and distribution in addition to chi-square were used to analyze data. The findings of quantitative data have been graphically presented as a summary using frequency distribution tables, percentages, and graphs. Qualitative data generated was textually analyzed through the development of thematic frameworks from key issues and concepts as guided by the study objectives. The study established financial constraints as the leading cause of intimate partner conflict, lack of good communication between partners’ exposed conflict situations between partners where as poor communication enhanced conflict resolution among intimate partners. Good state of communication between spouses was found to enhance healthy relationships culminating into reduced incidences of intimate partner conflict. Partners with the ability to establish and sustain good communication practices were found as less likely to experience incidences of intimate partner violence. Generally, communication played the role of exposing a conflict situation amongst spouses and was also crucial in managing and de-escalating the conflict situation among intimate partners’. It also revealed that the economic intervention resulted to improved state of relationships (reduced conflict) and well-being of the women in the program further reducing the risk factors of intimate conflict. This study recommends the use of good communication among intimate partners to manage conflict.

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