Relationship Development Across Time

Concurrent Sessions 12

Elizabeth Keneski, Timothy Loving, Lisa Neff, Ted Huston; D. Scott Sibley, Paul R. Springer, Amber Vennum, Cody S. Hollist; Nathan Hardy, Amber Vennum; Ashley Ermer, Nick Frye-Cox
Discussant and Presider: Brian Ogolsky

8:30 AM
9:45 AM
Location
Key Ballroom 9
Session #
408
Session Type
Paper
Session Focus
  • Research
Organized By
  • Research & Theory

About the Session

  • Applying the Goldilocks Principle to Relationship Development Patterns
    Presented by: Elizabeth Keneski, Timothy Loving, Lisa Neff, Ted Huston
  • An Exploration of the Construction of Commitment Leading to Marriage
    Presented by: D. Scott Sibley, Paul R. Springer, Amber Vennum, Cody S. Hollist
  • Patterns of Stability and Marital Satisfaction in Newlywed Couples
    Presented by: Nathan Hardy, Amber Vennum
  • Alexithymia and Psychological Well-being: The Effects of Spousal Forgiveness
    Presented by: Ashley Ermer, Nick Frye-Cox

Abstract(s)

Applying the Goldilocks Principle to Relationship Development Patterns

Presented by: Elizabeth Keneski, Timothy Loving, Lisa Neff, Ted Huston

In Study 1, newlyweds generated a timeline of significant courtship events by indicating when each event occurred in their histories together. Spouses whose courtship timelines progressed in a more normative, or average, sequence reported greater marital satisfaction. In Studies 2 and 3, participants were presented with common courtship events in random order and asked to re-order them to reflect "typical" relationship progression. This perceivednormative order of relationship events closely matched the normative order from the Study 1 married sample. Additionally, across studies, more normative relationship progressions were associated with greater relationship approval and support from couple members' social networks.

An Exploration of the Construction of Commitment Leading to Marriage

Presented by: D. Scott Sibley, Paul R. Springer, Amber Vennum, Cody S. Hollist

The purpose of this study was to research how newly married couples construct and re-construct commitment through events in courtship, where the understanding of commitment originates, and how couples communicate commitment in courtship and into marriage. Fifteen newly married couples, 30 participants, were interviewed to gather data for this qualitative study. Through the use of grounded theory six different themes (friendship, gradual process, positive examples, negative examples, planning for the future, and words of affirmation) emerged in the construction, origination, and communication of commitment. The concept of resilient commitment is introduced and briefly discussed.

Patterns of Stability and Marital Satisfaction in Newlywed Couples

Presented by: Nathan Hardy, Amber Vennum

Using a sample of 564 newlywed couples, this study identified distinct class trajectories of marital satisfaction through joint probability growth mixture modeling and explored premarital cycling as a predictor of class membership with divorce as an outcome. Results indicated that most couples enter marriage quite satisfied and partner's initial levels of satisfaction and rates of change are highly similar. Spouses at the highest risk for divorce began marriage less satisfied than other couples. Premarital cycling predicted membership in classes more at risk for divorce. These findings support early prevention efforts to help couples establish stable relationships prior to marriage.

Alexithymia and Psychological Well-being: The Effects of Spousal Forgiveness

Presented by: Ashley Ermer, Nick Frye-Cox

Data was collected from 155 married couples to examine the mediating role of forgiveness between spousal perceptions of alexithymia and psychological well-being in married couples. Results from two APIMs suggest that spousal perceptions of alexithymia greatly influence resentful-avoidant forgiving behaviors, which negatively affects spousal well-being. These results highlight how an individual may recognize that a spouse has limited emotional abilities, yet is unlikely to engage in forgiveness behaviors that promote psychological well-being.

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