Affective processes as mediators of links between close relationships and physical health

Allison K. Farrell, Ledina Imami, Sarah C. E. Stanton, Richard B. Slatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Close relationships are known to predict physical health outcomes. The time has come for a shift toward achieving a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. One promising group of psychological mechanisms is affective processes, such as discrete emotions, emotion regulation, and affect reactivity. In this paper, we discuss the evidence linking relationship functioning with both the positive and negative valences of each affective process, considering the contributions of different types of close relationships across the lifespan, and the evidence for each affective process impacting physical health. We note evidence suggesting that affective processes may also have a causal impact on relationship function. When available, we review literature testing full mediational pathways, from relationship functioning to affective processes to physical health, as the ideal methodology for testing these links. Finally, we identify core themes and propose key future directions for this research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12408
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Volume12
Issue number7
Early online date12 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2018

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