Intra-couple variability in marital aggrandizement: Idealization and satisfaction within enduring relationships

Norm O'Rourke, Philippe Cappeliez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Selective recall of one's relationship history is significantly related to marital satisfaction. This tendency to negate the occurrence of negative interpersonal memories and events has been defined as marital aggrandizement. We contend that this phenomenon occurs as a function of individual beliefs and perceptions whereas others assume that marital aggrandizement is reciprocally determined between spouses. This latter theory views the couple as the primary unit of analysis in terms of the association between marital satisfaction and marital aggrandizement. Results of this study, however, do not support this systemic hypothesis. Analysis of responses from an international sample of older couples suggests that marital aggrandizement is largely independent between spouses. These results provide further understanding of the nature of this construct. Further research is required to identify the predictors and natural history of marital aggrandizement over time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Research in Social Psychology
Issue number15
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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