How negative interactions affect relationship satisfaction: The paradoxical short-term and long-term effects of commitment

Tianyuan LI, Helene Hoi Lam FUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When people are more committed to a relationship, do they become more vulnerable or more resilient to the impacts of negative interactions with the partner? Although most studies emphasize the positive role of commitment in romantic relationship, the answer to the above question may differ in the short term versus in the long term. We conducted a 14-day daily diary study and a 7-month follow-up with 100 participants who are currently in a serious romantic relationship. Results revealed the paradoxical short-term and long-term effects of commitment. Commitment to the relationship intensified both the short-term detrimental effect and the long-term beneficial effect of negative interactions on relationship satisfaction. Personal stress was found to partially explain the short-term effects of negative interactions and commitment. When people become committed to a relationship, they are more vulnerable to the impacts of negative interactions in the short term but more resilient to the impacts in the long run. Copyright © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume4
Issue number3
Early online dateJul 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Citation

Li, T., & Fung, H. H. (2013). How negative interactions affect relationship satisfaction: The paradoxical short-term and long-term effects of commitment. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(3), 274-281.

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Negative interaction,
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Personal stress
  • Romantic relationship