The impact of non-harmonious goals on partner support and taking on opportunities

Vowels, Laura M; Carnelley, Katherine B; Kumashiro, Madoka and Rowe, Angela C. 2022. The impact of non-harmonious goals on partner support and taking on opportunities. Current Psychology, ISSN 1046-1310 [Article] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

Romantic partners often support each other to progress toward goals. However, at times partners’ goals are not in harmony and conflict with partner or relationship needs, leading to negative consequences for couple members. The present study examined whether non-harmonious opportunities were associated with support provider’s and recipient’s behavior, perceived partner support, and goal outcomes. We further examined whether these effects were moderated by attachment styles. Findings from two experimental (n1= 296, n2= 117) and one dyadic daily diary (n3= 267) showed how having non-harmonious goals lead to problematic goal pursuit. Partners are less likely to behave positively toward the support provider, provide partner support, view their partners as supportive, and report less commitment to partners, and make less goal progress when goal non-harmony is present. Importantly, we did not find moderation effects of attachment styles for these processes. The findings highlight the importance of managing goal non-harmony in couples.

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The online version contains supplementary material available at

This research was supported by the first author’s Jubilee Scholarship, University of Southampton. Funding for Study 3 was obtained from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0132398) awarded to Caryl E. Rusbult.


Goal Non-Harmony, Partner Support , Attachment , Close Relationships

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7 July 2022Accepted
13 July 2022Published Online

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Date Deposited:

13 Sep 2022 10:29

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13 Sep 2022 10:29

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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