Conflict management is one aspect that is always required as relationships are just known to have conflicts occurring. This is because each individual may feel like they should have access to the resources, scarce resources (time, affection, money) exist, and people typically have different ideas on how things should be done. In Status and Income as Gendered Resources: The Case of Marital Power (1999), a study by Veronica Jaris Tichenor, marital power dynamics were examined through finding whether wives with resource advantages were able to gain more power within their relationship. It was found that in order to resolve the issue between having more advantageous resources, the wives must not use their resources to claim greater power (Tichenor, 1999). Because of the gender roles expected of women, the wives were found to allow their husbands to maintain greater power (Tichenor, 1999).
This particular example of conflict management demonstrates how both individuals must be in sync with one another to avoid challenges or difficulties from occurring. Conflict is noted to only be resolved with both parties involved have achieved a mutual understanding or agreement. Within such cases, conflicts can also be advantageous as people tend to gain new understandings and knowledge of one another.
Symbolic interactionism, on the other hand, focuses on the relationship between two interconnecting factors. One being symbols, such as shared meanings or roles, and the other being interactions, such as verbal or nonverbal actions. Symbolic interactionism states that emotional bonds are maintained through sharing moments, activities, or events. It also assumes that family relationships are based on negotiations and there lie meanings behind them.
In a study by William Marsiglio and Ramon Hinojosa, Managing the Multifather Family: Stepfathers as Father Allies (2007), they focused on finding how stepfathers correlate with the biological father and their relations with them. Keeping in mind that managing a shared father-role between the
Salience also suggests that the greater the importance of the role to the individual, the more time the individual tends to invest in the role (Smith & Hamon, 2012). In a different situation, if the individual feels as if they are unable to comply with the role, conflict may occur. However, according to symbolic interactionism, communication and social interactions can create changes and resolve conflict by allow us to learn the meaning through them.
I would say that symbolic interactionism is more useful than conflict theory to be for family interventions. This is simply because symbolic interactionism focuses on the shared meanings and roles and their connection with interactions. Roles hold a great deal of importance and even duties that one may feel the need to accomplish. If every family member is able to understand their roles and the shared meanings they hold between each other as a family all together, I would believe that it would make it much easier to resolve family interventions. Additionally, using a symbolic interactionist perspective can allow interventions to flow smoothly by addressing how each member can manage their roles/identities and circumstances.