Individual Talks 1

  • 9:30 am To 11:00 am on July 19, 2019
  • Gallery Room 2 Bramber House

2 + 1 = 2: An exploratory study on continuing relationships after infidelity

Although infidelity is widely studied, studies of couples that decide to continue their relationship after an infidelity is discovered are scarce. Through 14 semi-structured interviews, we sought to explore the role of variables like attributions, social support and relationship satisfaction in the process of deciding to remain in the relationship. Results identify as major factors in the continuity of the relationship: (a) the use of relationship factors as explanations of infidelity (b) working through relationship problems predating the infidelity and (c) social network support for the relationship. These results provide important indications for clinical practice with couples in this situation.

Only You: Monogamy Maintenance Strategies and the Appeal of Attractive Others

Monogamy (sexual and emotional exclusivity) is often challenged when an individual faces an attractive other. Potentially protective strategies to reinforce monogamy are relatively unknown. We assessed monogamy maintenance (MM) behaviors for individuals in committed relationships when faced with attractive others. Adults completed anonymous online surveys assessing monogamy expectations and strategies, relationship quality measures, and infidelity. Three types were common: Proactive Avoidance, Relationship Enhancement, and Threat Management. Reciprocated extradyadic attraction predicted MM use, but MM use did not predict infidelity outcomes at two months. This research explores the agentic role of a ‘tempted’ partner in protecting their primary relationships.

Strategies for Mitigating Sexual Desire Discrepancy in Relationships: A Mixed-Methods Approach

The purpose of the present mixed-methods study was to identify strategies individuals in long-term relationships use during times of desire discrepancy and whether their use influence sexual and relationship satisfaction. A thematic content analysis was used to analyze data from 229 individuals and produced 18 strategies, divided into five groups. The results showed that partnered strategies (communication, engaging in activity with a partner, having sex anyway) were associated with higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to individual strategies (disengagement, engaging in activity alone). Finding strategies helpful was also associated with higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction.

The Brief Partner Behavioral Control Scale (B-PBCS): Development and Validation

Despite the large growth on close relationships literature, partner behavioral control has been rarely the primary focus of research. The present study aims to develop and validate a 9-item Brief Partner Behavioral Control Scale (B-PBCS). The psychometric properties of the B-PBCS were examined in a sample of emerging adults who are currently being in a premarital romantic relationship. Results demonstrated that the B-PBCS has a two-factor solution, acceptable measurement invariance, reliability, and predictive validity. In conclusion, the B-PBCS offers a valid and brief measure for assessing partner behavioral control.

The Role of Emotions During Couple Conflicts in Belgium and Japan

In two studies, we explored cultural variation in emotions during couple conflict. In Study 1, 127 couples from Belgium and Japan engaged in conflict interactions in the lab. In line with our predictions, we found that a more positively skewed affect ratio and the experience of anger are common and functional in Belgian couples. In contrast, a more balanced affect ratio and empathy characterized Japanese conflict interactions. In Study 2, 40 Belgian and Japanese discussed their cultural perceptions of couple conflict in focus groups. Analyses revealed cultural differences in how emotions during conflict are expected to be managed.

On the Practical Significance of Circumplexity: Interpersonal Traits as Predictors of Accommodation

In the present study (n = 103), when we measured nurturance and dominance as reflected in scores on eight lower-order traits (via the Interpersonal Adjective Scales-Revised [Wiggins, Trapnell, & Phillips, 1988]), we found the beta weight from nurturance to accommodation exceeded +.45 (although the beta weight from dominance to accommodation was nearly zero). Compared to previous research that essentially measured the positive ends of the nurturance and dominance axes (e.g., via the Bem Sex Role Inventory [Bem, 1974]; as utilized by Rusbult et al., 1991), we were able to boost practical significance for nurturance (but not dominance) in predicting accommodation.