Antecedents and Consequences of Relationship Maintenance in Intimate Relationships
AuthorOgolsky, Brian Gabriel
AdvisorRidley, Carl A
Committee ChairRidley, Carl A
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRelationship maintenance represents an important understudied relational construct. Three studies were conducted to examine the correlates of relationship maintenance across five factors: positivity, openness, assurances, social networks, and sharing tasks. Study one is a meta-analytic review of the existing literature on relationship maintenance and its correlates. Studies two and three are empirical examinations of the predictors of and barriers to relationship maintenance enactment in same-sex couples using a variety of methodological and statistical approaches.Study one is a meta-analysis that focuses on synthesizing the existing literature on relationship maintenance and several relational outcomes including satisfaction, commitment, mutuality, liking, love, and relationship duration as well as gender differences in the enactment of maintenance behaviors. Results suggest that relationship maintenance and the first five correlates are positivity related and these effects are moderate to large in magnitude. Relationship duration was negatively related to three of the five relationship maintenance factors, positively related to social networks, and not related to sharing tasks. Additionally, women tend to perform slightly more maintenance behaviors than men.Study two examines the association between relationship maintenance and commitment using a cross-lagged, actor-partner interdependence model to assess the direction of this relationship among same-sex couples. A sample of 98 couples was measured over 14 days. Results show support for a causal pathway from commitment to relationship maintenance and do not support the opposite pathway. Support for this causal pathway was also demonstrated through the examination of cross-partner effects.Study three explores the potential barriers to relationship maintenance enactment. Daily conflict was examined as it predicts relationship maintenance behaviors and the moderational effects of constructive and destructive (demand-withdraw) communication styles were examined. Results illustrate a negative relationship between conflict and relationship maintenance suggesting that engaging in interpersonal conflict results in decreased relationship maintenance enactment. The detrimental influence of conflict was minimized, however, when couples utilized a constructive rather than destructive communication style. To the contrary, destructive communication styles enhanced the negative effects of conflict with the exception of the actor-demand, partner-withdraw pattern, which reduced the negative effect of conflict.
Degree ProgramFamily & Consumer Sciences