A meta-analytic review of relationship maintenance and its correlates

Brian G. Ogolsky, Jill R. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This meta-analysis examines the five factors from the Relational Maintenance Strategies Measure (RMSM, i.e., positivity, openness, assurances, social networks, and sharing tasks) and their associations with satisfaction, commitment, control mutuality, love, liking, and relationship duration. Across 35 studies (N = 12,273 participants), results showed positive correlations between the maintenance factors and the relational correlates except relationship duration, which was negatively associated with positivity and assurances and unassociated with openness, social networks, and sharing tasks. Moderator analyses showed differences in effect sizes depending upon measure (i.e., RMSM or a revision), reporter (i.e., perceptions of partner's maintenance or individuals' own enactment of maintenance), and biological sex. Effect sizes were generally larger for women than men and when studies used the RMSM and perceptions of the partner's maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-367
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Relationship maintenance
  • commitment
  • communication
  • love
  • meta-analysis
  • perception
  • relationship satisfaction
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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