Types of Subjective Well-Being and Their Associations with Relationship Outcomes
The authors examined the associations between three facets of subjective well-being (SWB; positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction) and relationship outcomes, employing multilevel models to analyze data from 90 couples. It was found that as participants’ self-reported positive affect increased, they also reported higher perceived support from their partners, greater relationship satisfaction, perceived partners as being more helpful and less upsetting in support situations, and rated their partners as more important. As self-reported negative affect increased, participants reported lower perceived support from partners, lower relationship satisfaction, and perceived partners as less helpful and more upsetting. As self-reported life satisfaction increased, participants reported higher perceived support from partners, greater relationship satisfaction, and rated partners as more helpful and less upsetting. It was also found that participants’ greater self-reported SWB was positively associated with their partners’ reported relationship outcomes, even after controlling for the partners’ own SWB. Thus, not only do those with higher SWB perceive their relationship as being of better quality, their partners also rate the relationship more positively. This finding suggests that people high in SWB do not just perceive their relationship as better, but create a better relationship for their partner as well. This finding also indicates that it is not just happy people perceiving everything, including their relationships, as superior, but that they have better relationships from the partner’s viewpoint.
Subjective well-being, happiness, relationships, relationship quality
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