Working Hard or Hardly Working? Comparing Relationship Self-Regulation Levels of Cohabiting, Married, and Remarried Individuals


cohabitation, relationship education, relationship self-regulation, remarriage


The concept of relationship self-regulation (RSR) has been shown to be related to relationship satisfaction, yet the differences in RSR ability based on couple type have yet to be examined. This study compared first married, remarried, and cohabiting individuals on their self-reported ability to implement RSR in their relationship, along with their report of satisfaction, positive communication, and negative communication in their relationships. Data were derived from 6,565 participants who were part of the Relationship Evaluation (RELATE) questionnaire data set. Results showed that although mean differences in RSR were small across couple types, remarrieds reported significantly lower RSR levels than any other group, whereas first marrieds reported significantly higher RSR levels than any other group. Implications for relationship education programs and couple therapy are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Meyer, M. J., Larson, J. H., Busby, D. M., & Harper, J. (2012). Working hard or hardly working? Comparing relationship self-regulation levels of cohabiting, married, and remarried Individuals. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 53, 142-155.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Divorce & Remarriage




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor