Individual and dyadic associations among relational self-expansion potential, affect, and perceived health

Sarah C. E. Stanton, Katie Spence, Kiersten Dobson, Jenni E. Kähkönen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of literature suggests that specific markers of relationship quality are meaningfully linked to health outcomes. We tested whether relational self-expansion potential might be one of these markers in cross-sectional samples of individuals and romantic couples. Study 1 found that greater self-expansion potential was linked to better perceived physical health via both higher positive affect (PA) and lower negative affect (NA). Study 2 replicated these findings for PA (but not NA) and revealed both actor and partner effects of self-expansion potential. Results remained robust when statistically accounting for gender, age, body mass index, agreeableness, neuroticism, and perceived partner responsiveness. These findings identify a new relationship-level “active ingredient” associated with health and have implications for future physical health studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonal relationships
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date26 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • self-expansion
  • affect
  • health
  • relationships
  • actor-partner interdependence model

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