Abstract

Relationship self-regulation (RSR) refers to the “work”, or effort and strategies, that partners exert over time to maintain the health of their romantic relationships. Most research focuses on self-reports of RSR, however, several studies suggest that partner perceptions are more influential in relationship appraisal. In addition, most RSR research has focused not on partners' attitudes and virtues like commitment, but instead on personality traits, emotional health, and communication skills. In this study, we examine the relationship between partners' levels of commitment and forgiveness within their relationships, and how they perceive their partner's use of RSR behaviors. Using paired data from 679 cohabiting and married couples who took the RELATE questionnaire, we found that males' and females' self-reports of commitment and forgiveness were both positively associated with higher perceptions of partner RSR. Likewise, we found that, for females, higher self-reports of commitment and forgiveness were positively correlated with higher male perceptions of her RSR, and male forgiveness was positively correlated with female perceptions of his RSR. The variables of commitment and forgiveness explained an average of 44% of the variance in perceptions of partner RSR for both genders. Implications for future research and clinicians are discussed.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2014-07-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd7150

Keywords

relationship self-regulation, relationship work, RSR, commitment, forgiveness, couples

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