Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

relationship satisfaction Related Abstracts

5 Mobile Communication Technologies, Romantic Attachment and Relationship Quality: An Exploration of Partner Attunement

Authors: Jodie Bradnam, Mark Edwards, Bruce Watt


Mobile technologies have emerged as tools to create and sustain social and romantic relationships. The integration of technologies in close relationships has been of particular research interest with findings supporting the positive role of mobile phones in nurturing feelings of closeness and connection. More recently, the use of text messaging to manage conflict has become a focus of research attention. Four hundred and eleven adults in committed romantic relationships completed a series of questionnaires measuring attachment orientation, relationship quality, texting frequencies, attitudes, and response expectations. Attachment orientation, relationship length, texting for connection and disconnection were significant predictors of relationship quality, specifically relationship intimacy. Text frequency varied as a function of attachment orientation, with high attachment anxiety associated with high texting frequencies and with low relationship quality. Sending text messages of love and support was related to higher intimacy and relationship satisfaction scores, while sending critical or impersonal texts was associated with significantly lower intimacy and relationship satisfaction scores. The use of texting to manage relational conflict was a stronger negative predictor of relationship satisfaction than was the use of texting to express love and affection. Consistent with research on face-to-face communication in couples, the expression of negative sentiments via text were related to lower relationship quality, and these negative sentiments had a stronger and more enduring impact on relationship quality than did the expression of positive sentiments. Attachment orientation, relationship length and relationship status emerged as variables of interest in understanding the use of mobile technologies in romantic relationships.

Keywords: Mobile Communication, attachment, relationship quality, intimacy, texting, destructive conflict, relationship satisfaction

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4 Gratitude, Forgiveness and Relationship Satisfaction in Dating College Students: A Parallel Multiple Mediator Model

Authors: Qinglu Wu, Anna Wai-Man Choi, Peilian Chi


Gratitude is one individual strength that not only facilitates the mental health, but also fosters the relationship satisfaction in the romantic relationship. In terms of moral effect theory and stress-and-coping theory of forgiveness, present study not only investigated the association between grateful disposition and relationship satisfaction, but also explored the mechanism by comprehensively examining the potential mediating roles of three profiles of forgiveness (trait forgivingness, decisional forgiveness, emotional forgiveness), another character strength that highly related to the gratitude and relationship satisfaction. Structural equation modeling was used to conduct the multiple mediator model with a sample of 103 Chinese college students in dating relationship (39 male students and 64 female students, Mage = 19.41, SD = 1.34). Findings displayed that both gratitude and relationship satisfaction positively correlated with decisional forgiveness and emotional forgiveness. Emotional forgiveness was the only mediator, and it completely mediated the relationship between gratitude and relationship satisfaction. Gratitude was helpful in enhancing individuals’ perception of satisfaction in romantic relationship through replacing negative emotions toward partners with positive ones after transgression in daily life. It highlighted the function of emotional forgiveness in personal healing and peaceful state, which is important to the perception of satisfaction in relationship. Findings not only suggested gratitude could provide a stability for forgiveness, but also the mechanism of prosocial responses or positive psychological processes on relationship satisfaction. The significant roles of gratitude and emotional forgiveness could be emphasized in the intervention working on the romantic relationship development or reconciliation.

Keywords: gratitude, relationship satisfaction, decisional forgiveness, emotional forgiveness, trait forgivingness

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3 Relationship Demise After Having Children: An Analysis of Abandonment and Nuclear Family Structure vs. Supportive Community Cultures

Authors: John W. Travis


There is an epidemic of couples separating after a child is born into a family, generally with the father leaving emotionally or physically in the first few years after birth. This separation creates high levels of stress for both parents, especially the primary parent, leaving her (or him) less available to the infant for healthy attachment and nurturing. The deterioration of the couple’s bond leaves parents increasingly under-resourced, and the dependent child in a compromised environment, with an increased likelihood of developing an attachment disorder. Objectives: To understand the dynamics of a couple, once the additional and extensive demands of a newborn are added to a nuclear family structure, and to identify effective ways to support all members of the family to thrive. Qualitative studies interviewed men, women, and couples after pregnancy and the early years as a family, regarding key destructive factors, as well as effective tools for the couple to retain a strong bond. In-depth analysis of a few cases, including the author’s own experience, reveal deeper insights about subtle factors, replicated in wider studies. Using a self-assessment survey, many fathers report feeling abandoned, due to the close bond of the mother-baby unit, and in turn, withdrawing themselves, leaving the mother without support and closeness to resource her for the baby. Fathers report various types of abandonment, from his partner to his mother, with whom he did not experience adequate connection as a child. The study identified a key destructive factor to be unrecognized wounding from childhood that was carried into the relationship. The study culminated in the naming of Male Postpartum Abandonment Syndrome (MPAS), describing the epidemic in industrialized cultures with the nuclear family as the primary configuration. A growing family system often collapses without a minimum number of adult caregivers per infant, approximately four per infant (3.87), which allows for proper healing and caretaking. In cases with no additional family or community beyond one or two parents, the layers of abandonment and trauma result in the deterioration of a couple’s relationship and ultimately the family structure. The solution includes engaging community in support of new families. The study identified (and recommends) specific resources to assist couples in recognizing and healing trauma and disconnection at multiple levels. Recommendations include wider awareness and availability of resources for healing childhood wounds and greater community-building efforts to support couples for the whole family to thrive.

Keywords: Community building, attachment, family and marital functioning, relationship quality, abandonment, intimacy, marital satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, healing childhood wounds, infant wellness

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2 Predicting Expectations of Non-Monogamy in Long-Term Romantic Relationships

Authors: Michelle R. Sullivan


Positive romantic relationships and marriages offer a buffer against a host of physical and emotional difficulties. Conversely, poor relationship quality and marital discord can have deleterious consequences for individuals and families. Research has described non-monogamy, infidelity, and consensual non-monogamy, as both consequential and causal of relationship difficulty, or as a unique way a couple strives to make a relationship work. Much research on consensual non-monogamy has built on feminist theory and critique. To the author’s best knowledge, to date, no studies have examined the predictive relationship between individual and relationship characteristics and expectations of non-monogamy. The current longitudinal study: 1) estimated the prevalence of expectations of partner non-monogamy and 2) evaluated whether gender, sexual identity, age, education, how a couple met, and relationship quality were predictive expectations of partner non-monogamy. This study utilized the publically available longitudinal dataset, How Couples Meet and Stay Together. Adults aged 18- to 98-years old (n=4002) were surveyed by phone over 5 waves from 2009-2014. Demographics and how a couple met were gathered through self-report in Wave 1, and relationship quality and expectations of partner non-monogamy were gathered through self-report in Waves 4 and 5 (n=1047). The prevalence of expectations of partner non-monogamy (encompassing both infidelity and consensual non-monogamy) was 4.8%. Logistic regression models indicated that sexual identity, gender, education, and relationship quality were significantly predictive of expectations of partner non-monogamy. Specifically, male gender, lower education, identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and a lower relationship quality scores were predictive of expectations of partner non-monogamy. Male gender was not predictive of expectations of partner non-monogamy in the follow up logistic regression model. Age and whether a couple met online were not associated with expectations of partner non-monogamy. Clinical implications include awareness of the increased likelihood of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals to have an expectation of non-monogamy and the sequelae of relationship dissatisfaction that may be related. Future research directions could differentiate between non-monogamy subtypes and the person and relationship variables that lead to the likelihood of consensual non-monogamy and infidelity as separate constructs, as well as explore the relationship between predicting partner behavior and actual partner behavioral outcomes.

Keywords: polyamory, infidelity, relationship satisfaction, open relationship

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1 A Longitudinal Examination of the Impact of Treatment Modality on Relationship Satisfaction and Mental Health Quality of Life Outcomes among Prostate Cancer Survivors

Authors: Gabriela Ilie, Robert D. H. Rutledge


A review of the literature reveals a need for longitudinal studies to properly understand the quality of life of prostate cancer survivors during their prostate cancer journey in order to identify opportunities for patient support and care during prostate cancer survivorship. In this study, mental health and relationship satisfaction were assessed longitudinally and by treatment modality among a population-based sample of Canadian adult men with a history of prostate cancer diagnosis. A total of 98 men, aged 51 or older with a history of prostate cancer completed an on-line 15-minute survey between May 2017 and February 2018, assessing mental health (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale) and relationship satisfaction (Dyadic Adjustment Scale) at baseline and at three months post-treatment with either active or nonactive prostate cancer treatment. Almost 1 in 6 men in this sample screened positive for mental health issues (17.34%, n=17) irrespective of treatment modality and most (n=11) were not currently on medication for depression, anxiety or both. Mental health outcomes were poorer for men with multimorbidity. For every instance of screening positive for mental health issues, 2.021 (95% CI:1.1 to 3.8) times more comorbidities were recorded. Relationship satisfaction and dyadic cohesion were statistically significantly lower from first assessment to 3 months for men who underwent multiple treatment modalities (surgery and radiation with hormonal therapy). Relationship satisfaction was also lower at 3 months for men who underwent radiation therapy. Almost 1 in 2 men in this sample (74%) indicated they did not attend a prostate cancer support group. Results suggest that treatment for mental health is underutilized in men with prostate cancer. Men who undergo multiple forms of active treatment appear more vulnerable to relationship dissatisfaction and feeling disconnected from their partner. Data points to important opportunities for patient education and care support during survivorship.

Keywords: Mental Health, Quality of Life, relationship satisfaction, prostate cancer survivorship

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