Negative interactions and marital satisfaction across adulthood: The moderating role of affect valuation

Da JIANG, Tianyuan LI, Helene H. FUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Older adults report higher marital satisfaction than younger adults even after negative interactions. The current study examined affect valuation as a potential moderator to explain age-related differences in the relationship between negative interactions and marital satisfaction. We conducted a 14-day daily diary study among 66 heterosexual couples (132 participants) aged from 21 to 80 years. At both person and daily levels, we found that valuing negative affect weakened the negative association between negative interactions and marital satisfaction in husbands. The moderating effect of negative affect valuation was stronger in older than younger husbands at the person but not daily level. Valuing positive affect more was associated with a stronger negative association between negative interactions and marital satisfaction in husbands at the person but not daily level. Such effect was again stronger in older than younger husbands. No significant results were found in wives. These findings shed light on the importance of affect valuation in understanding age-related differences in marital dynamics. Copyright © 2024 International Association of Applied Psychology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Early online dateMar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024

Citation

Jiang, D., Li, T., & Fung, H. H. (2024). Negative interactions and marital satisfaction across adulthood: The moderating role of affect valuation. Applied Psychology: Health and Well‐Being. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/aphw.12537

Keywords

  • Affect valuation
  • Age
  • Ideal affect
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Negative interaction

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