Cognitive, affective, and behavioral correlates of relationship satisfaction and commitment: a test of the investment model
AuthorDowd, Duane Alan
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This study examined the relationships between individual characteristics and components of the Investment Model. More-specifically, associations between cognitive (attributions and distressed partner thinking), affective (empathy and optimism), and behavioral (positive and negative socioemotional behaviors) factors and Investment Model components (rewards, costs, comparison level, alternatives, investments, and barriers) were tested. This study also examined whether the relationship between individual characteristics and marital quality (satisfaction and commitment) was mediated by the Investment Model components. A community sample of 226 married individuals completed questionnaires which assessed these individual characteristics, the Investment Model components and relationship quality. Factor analysis on the Investment Model components revealed a three factor solution that represented relationship benefits, detriments and hindrances. Benefits were negatively related to attributions, and positively related to optimism (for women) and positive behaviors (for men). Detriments r were positively related to attributions and to distressed partner thinking (for women), and negatively related to empathic concern (for women) and to positive behaviors (for men). Hindrances were positively related to empathic concern and to negative behaviors (for women). Regression analysis indicated that the relationship between (a) attributions and quality was fully mediated for men and women and (b) empathic concern and quality was partially mediated for men by the Investment Model factors. This research provided overall support for the mediational role of the Investment Model components, and suggested future directions for relationship research.