Me or us? Self-control promotes a healthy balance between personal and relationship concerns.

Visserman, Mariko, L; Righetti, Francesca; Kumashiro, Madoka and van Lange, Paul. A. M.. 2017. Me or us? Self-control promotes a healthy balance between personal and relationship concerns. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(1), pp. 55-65. ISSN 1948-5506 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Although romantic partners strive to achieve an optimal balance in fulfilling both personal and relational concerns, they are inevitably challenged by how much time and effort they can dedicate to both concerns. In the present work, we examined the role of self-control in successfully maintaining personal–relational balance through promoting balance and preventing personal and relational imbalance (overdedication to personal or relational concerns, respectively). We conducted two studies among romantic couples (total N ¼ 555), using questionnaires and diary procedures to assess everyday experiences of personalrelational
balance and imbalance. Both studies consistently showed that self-control promotes personal–relational balance. Moreover, findings partly supported our hypothesis that self-control prevents personal and relational imbalance (Study 2). Finally, findings also revealed that maintaining personal–relational balance is one of the mechanisms by which self-control can promote personal and relationship well-being. Implications of the present findings and avenues for future research are discussed.

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The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by a grant to F. Righetti (no. 451-12-024) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and a grant to C. Rusbult from the National Science Foundation (no. BCS-0132398).


personal–relational balance, personal well-being, relationship well-being, romantic relationships, self-control

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30 August 2016Published Online
9 July 2016Accepted
1 January 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2016 11:44

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:20

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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