Adding Insult to Injury: Partner Depression Moderates the Association Between Partner-Regulation Attempts and Partners’ Motivation to Resolve Interpersonal Problems

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Levi R. Baker, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Intimates regularly confront their partners to motivate them to change undesirable behaviors.Nevertheless, contextual perspectives suggest that qualities of the partner may determine theimplications of such attempts. Consistent with these ideas, a pilot study of romanticrelationships, an observational study of newlyweds, and a diary study of married couplesdemonstrated that partner depression moderates the association between confrontationalpartner-regulation behaviors and partners’ motivation, such that confrontational behaviors wereassociated with marginally greater motivation to resolve problems among partners who wereexperiencing relatively few depressive symptoms, but significantly less motivation amongpartners who were experiencing relatively more depressive symptoms. Furthermore, Study 2provided evidence for the mechanism of these effects—relationship self-efficacy. Finally, thesestudies also demonstrated that benevolent behaviors were particularly motivating for partnerswho were experiencing more depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the important rolesplayed by depression, relationship self-efficacy, and context in interpersonal communication.

Additional Information

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41
Language: English
Date: 2015
romantic relationships, partner-regulation, motivation, depression, self-efficacy

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