Perceived partner responsiveness mediates the association between social anxiety and relationship satisfaction in committed couples

Eran Bar-Kalifa, Adi Hen-Weissberg, Eshkol Rafaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the inherent interpersonal nature of social anxiety (SA), a surprisingly sparse literature addresses the interpersonal processes occurring within the committed romantic relationships of SA individuals. The current study tested the hypothesis that the relational phenomenon of perceived partner (un)responsiveness (PPR; Reis, Clark, & Holmes, 2004), mediates the association between SA and poor relationship satisfaction. We used recently-developed actor-partner-interdependence mediational models with data from a 35-day dyadic diary study of 80 committed couples. Social anxiety was found to be tied to poor relationship satisfaction in the daily lives of both persons with SA (actors) and their partners. For the actors, this negative association was fully mediated by the actor's perception of poor partner responsiveness. In contrast, for the partners, this negative association was not attributable to PPR. The results remained essentially unchanged even when controlling for comorbid depressive symptoms and for prior relationship satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-610
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Actor-partner-interdependence-mediational-model
  • Daily diaries
  • Perceived partner responsivness
  • Romantic relationships
  • Social anxiety

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