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.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Marriage and Family Therapy
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Smith, Heather Michele, "Commitment, Forgiveness, and Relationship Self-Regulation: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4191.
relationship self-regulation, relationship work, RSR, commitment, forgiveness, couples