Valuing negative affect weakens the negative association between negative exchange on marital relationship

Da JIANG, Tianyuan LI, Helene Hoi-Lam FUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Objectives: Older adults report better marital satisfaction than younger adults, even after negative interaction. Socioemotional selectivity theory explains such findings by arguing that older adults emphasize more on close social relationships, such as marriage. Therefore, older adults are more motivated to regulate their emotion and appraisal in marriage. However, little is known about how older adults regulate marital satisfaction after the negative marital interactions. To this end, the current study examined negative affect valuation as a moderator to explain age-related differences in the relationship between negative exchange and marital satisfaction. Method: We conducted a 14-day daily diary study among 66 couples (132 participants) aged from 21 to 80 years (Husbands: MAge = 47.58 years, SDAge = 15.74 years, 50% college education and above; Wives: MAge = 45.59 years, SDAge = 14.47 years, 42.5% college education and above; Mmarriage length = 18.14, SDmarriage length = 16.19). Results: On both person- and daily-level, we found that valuing negative affect more was associated with weakened association between negative exchanges and marital satisfaction in husbands. Such effect was stronger in older than younger husbands. On person- but not daily-level, valuing positive affect more was associated with strengthened association between negative exchanges and marital satisfaction in husband. Such effect was stronger in older than younger husbands. These findings shed light on the importance of affect valuation in understanding age-related differences in marital relationship. Copyright © 2018 US-HK AXT.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Marriage
Spouses
Education
Young Adult
Emotions

Citation

Jiang, D., Li, T., & Fung, H. H.-L. (2018, May). Valuing negative affect weakens the negative association between negative exchange on marital relationship. Paper presented at the U.S.-Hong Kong 2018 Conference "Aging across Time and Contexts", The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Keywords

  • Alt. title: Negative affect valuation and marital satisfaction