Need fulfillment, well-being, and close relationships: Defining and testing interpersonal need compatibility
AuthorOsborn, Jeremy Lee
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.
AbstractCompatibility is a concept that has enjoyed considerable attention in the arena of close relationship research and has emerged as a consistent factor in the experience of positive relational outcomes such as relationship satisfaction and stability. Despite this attention, however, the treatment of compatibility has generally been limited to domains specific to the studies in which it has been utilized. The present study sought to integrate research and theory in two distinct domains, need fulfillment and compatibility, in an attempt to provide an overarching explanation for findings linking compatibility to relational outcomes based on interpersonal need fulfillment. This task involved two distinct, but related, domains. First, general associations among interpersonal need fulfillment, well-being, and social network structure were examined in an attempt to develop a more refined understanding of the interaction between need fulfillment and specific relationships with respect to overall effects on well-being. Analyses were confined to the consideration of interpersonal needs (those requiring others for fulfillment) and relied on the three-dimensional model proposed by Schutz (1966) and comprised of needs for affection, inclusion, and control. Second, need fulfillment was examined in the context of exclusive romantic relationships, and a form of compatibility based on the interpersonal need levels of the partners was introduced and posited to represent an overarching form of compatibility and a major predictor of relationship satisfaction. Analyses involved 91 couples involved in exclusive romantic relationships and 105 individuals who were not involved in exclusive relationships at the time. Results indicated that interpersonal need fulfillment plays an important role in the experience of overall well-being. Furthermore, the fulfillment of specific needs and the experience of well-being were associated with the presence of certain relationships in one's social network (specifically an exclusive romantic relationship). Interpersonal need compatibility in the areas of inclusion and control was found to be a significant predictor of relationship satisfaction, supporting the validity of the interpersonal need compatibility construct. Overall, the proposed framework demonstrated utility value, and important insights regarding need fulfillment and network structure emerged, but additional research is needed to fully understand the interplay of these factors.
Degree ProgramGraduate College