Examining Diet- and Exercise-Related Communication in Romantic Relationships: Associations with Health and Relationship Quality
AuthorBurke, Tricia J.
Diet and Exercise
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this study, equity theory and relationship maintenance were employed as the framework through which couples' perceptions of and use of diet- and exercise- related social influence strategies were examined. Additionally, this research investigated whether people's perceptions of social influence were associated with their health maintenance behaviors and relationship quality, as well as whether their perceived diet- and exercise-related support from the partner moderated these associations. Finally, individuals' motivation to use influence strategies to encourage their partners to be healthier was also be evaluated. This study included a sample of 192 cohabiting or married couples. The results of the Actor Partner Interdependence Models indicated that actors' perceived relationship maintenance and control mutuality were positively associated with their perceptions of positive influence strategies from the partner. Additionally, actors' perceived positive influence strategies from their partners were associated with greater health maintenance and relationship satisfaction, with the inverse being true for actors' perceived negative influence strategies from their partners. Individuals' reports of using social influence strategies varied depending on their various motivations for using social influence strategies (i.e., perceived partner ability and willingness to change, reasons for using social influence, and reasons for not using social influence). Finally, individuals reported engaging in more health maintenance behaviors when they also perceived more positive social influence and more diet- and exercise-related support from their partners. These results suggest that relationship functioning is related to individuals' perceptions of influence strategies from the partner, which are also associated with individuals' health maintenance behaviors and relationship quality. Consequently, romantic relationships appear to be an important context in which to examine diet- and exercise- related social influence strategies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College