What happens when the standard for openness goes unmet in romantic relationships? Analyses of stress, coping, and relational consequences

Charee M. Thompson, Anita L. Vangelisti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The current investigation advances existing research by exploring the stress elicited when individuals perceive their standard for openness has been unmet, identifying the coping strategies individuals engage in when faced with this stress, and assessing the consequences of individuals’ coping efforts on relational quality. Data were gathered from 205 individuals in newly dating relationships. Analyses revealed that punishing, exiting, reframing, and using humor coping strategies partially mediated the negative association between the stress linked to unfulfilled openness standards and relationship satisfaction. Specifically, stress was related to individuals’ use of each of these strategies. In turn, using humor was positively associated with relationship satisfaction, whereas punishing, exiting, and reframing were negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. Theoretical contributions and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-343
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coping
  • openness
  • relational satisfaction
  • standards
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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