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Processes in Romantic Relationships and Their Impact on Relationship and Personal Outcomes

English title Processes in Romantic Relationships and Their Impact on Relationship and Personal Outcomes
Applicant Grob Alexander
Number 162697
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Fakultät für Psychologie Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.03.2016 - 31.12.2019
Approved amount 500'081.00
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Keywords (6)

Relationship processes; Relationship outcomes; Personality; Emerging and young adulthood; Personality development; Relationship satisfaction

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Romantische Beziehungen spielen für die meisten Menschen eine zentrale Rolle im Leben. Die psychologische Forschung zeigt, dass die Persönlichkeit beider Partner den Verlauf und die Zufriedenheit von Beziehungen mitbestimmt. Hingen ist wenig bekannt, wie die Persönlichkeit und alltägliche Prozesse die Beziehungsdynamik beeinflussen. Dies wird in dieser Studie mit Tagebuch- und Fragebogendaten bei Personen, die in einer Partnerschaft leben, im Zeitverlauf untersucht.
Lay summary

Bisherige Studien, die das Zusammenspiel von Persönlichkeit und romantischen Beziehungen untersucht haben, konnten relevante Persönlichkeitseigenschaften identifizieren, die eine bedeutsame Rolle für die Beziehungszufriedenheit haben. Als distale und stabile Faktoren bilden sie die Basis dafür, was in Beziehungen Tag für Tag geschieht, d.h., wie Partner denken, fühlen und handeln. Da Persönlichkeitseigenschaften als solche aber wenig Erklärungskraft innehaben, ist es wichtig, die Black Box der alltäglichen Beziehungsprozesse zu öffnen, um so nach dem warum und wie hinter den Zusammenhängen zu fragen.

Das Ziel der Längsschnittstudie ist es, den vielfältigen Zusammenhang von Persönlichkeit und Beziehungszufriedenheit in seinem dynamischen und von den Partnern geprägten Charakter im Alltag zu untersuchen. Anhand mehrerer Tagebuchstudien und Fragebögen werden beide Partner über ein Jahr hinweg begleitet, um zu beantworten, wie emotionale, kognitive und behaviorale Beziehungsprozesse miteinander sowie mit Persönlichkeitseigenschaften zusammenhängen. Ziel ist es, beschreiben und erklären zu können, wie und warum unterschiedliche Beziehungsverläufe, Beziehungszufriedenheiten und Beziehungsausgänge zustande kommen.

Das Projekt soll dazu beitragen, ein besseres Verständnis von täglichen Partnerschaftsprozessen in Abhängigkeit relevanter Persönlichkeitseigenschaften zu entwickeln. Das Wissen um zugrundeliegende Prozesse sowie das Erkennen individueller Unterschiede trägt nicht nur zur Bildung eines differenzierteren Verständnisses bei, sondern ermöglicht auch das Entwickeln neuer und effektiver Beratungs- und Therapiemöglichkeiten für Paare. 

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.02.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Nicole Barbaro, Oakland University MI United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Beatrice Rammstedt, University of Mannheim Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Veronika Job, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Franz Neyer, University of Jena Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Marcus Mund, Friedrich Schiller University Jena Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Matthew Johnson, Binghampton University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Jana Nikitin, Basel University Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Christine Finn, Friedrich Schiller University Jena Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
19th Annual Meeting Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research Talk given at a conference CouPers: An integrative framework of personality, relationship processes, and relationship outcomes 29.07.2016 Berlin, Germany Bühler Janina Larissa;
18th European Conference on Personality Talk given at a conference The relational self as actor, agent and author. Understanding life and relationship satisfaction from three personality layers. 19.07.2016 Timisoara, Romania Grob Alexander; Bühler Janina Larissa;
18th European Conference on Personality Talk given at a conference The black box of romantic relationships: Relationship processes explaining the associations between personality and outcomes in romantic couples. 19.07.2016 Timisoara, Romania Bühler Janina Larissa; Grob Alexander;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) #SciComm: Academics as influencers University of Basel News International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Gleich und Gleich – oder Gegensatz SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Media relations: radio, television Hochzeit, Ehe, Partnerschaft: Macht Heiraten glücklich? SRF German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Why You Were Ghosted Psychology Today (magazine article) International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media "Der Lieber auf der Spur", BZ 29.02.2016 Basler Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media "Die Uni Basel mischt Paare auf" BZ 02.06.2016 Basellandschaftliche Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Video/Film "Partnerschaftsstudie" film German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media "Welche Zutaten braucht es?" Beo 22.07.16 Beobachter German-speaking Switzerland 2016
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Attraction, Evolved (Robert Burriss's blog) Psychology Today International 2016
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) CouPers website German-speaking Switzerland International 2016
Media relations: radio, television Radio interview, Basilisk Radio, 04.10.16 Basilisk Radio German-speaking Switzerland 2016
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast Independent podcast International 2016

Awards

Title Year
antelope@university: Program for highly qualified female doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Basel 2019

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
168915 How We Become Who We Are Within Romantic Relationships: Disentangling the Interplay Between Personality and Romantic Relationships From Three Perspectives 01.10.2016 Doc.CH (until 2020)
200803 Personality Change in the Light of Relationship Transitions in Romantic Couples and Singles 01.08.2021 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

A myriad of studies has investigated the association between personality and relationship outcomes, such as relationship stability, satisfaction, and quality. However, the importance of processes interposed between per-sonality and relationship outcomes has been largely neglected. Our study intends to address this shortcoming by integrating both distal factors, such as core and surface characteristics, and proximal factors, such as cognitive, emotional, and behavioral processes, in a longitudinal design with couples in emerging and young adulthood. Proximal processes are understood as mediating variables between personality and relationship outcomes, un-folding their impact over time. Moreover, we aim to uncover how relationship processes entail both partners’ personality development, for instance by increasing stability in core characteristics or promoting change in sur-face characteristics.We propose two complementary research lines for our research questions. First, we will conduct a lon-gitudinal online diary-study over two years. At four measurement points, an initial sample of 675 couples, differ-ing with respect to relationship duration (short, medium, long), will participate in two-week diary studies. At each measurement point, subjects will complete questionnaires regarding personality, relationship processes, and outcome variables. Second, we will investigate selected parts of our research questions using archival data (Swiss Household Panel, German Socio-Economic Panel, and Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics Data Set), benefitting from different samples, study designs, and longer survey periods.Our research plan has several theoretical, methodological, and practical implications. First, the study aims to illuminate the why behind the association between personality and relationship outcomes by shedding light on the interposed relationship processes. As we examine emotional, behavioral, and cognitive relationship processes simultaneously, we are able to determine the differential significance of feeling, behaving, and think-ing for relationship outcomes. Second, considering the impact of relationship processes for both partners’ per-sonality development, this project deepens the understanding of co-development in personality within romantic relationships, Third, from a methodological perspective, we are able to apply a dyadic approaches, including the actor-partner interdependence model and multi-level modeling. Fourth, repeated process-measures and the large sample size allow us to adopt more elaborate statistical models, measuring change within multiple-group set-tings. Fifth, the new evidence of our project will contribute to basic knowledge in personality, developmental, and relationship psychology. A more thorough understanding of the association between personality, relationship processes, and outcomes is also beneficial for clinical psychology and couple interventions Finally, elucidating the underlying processes of successful relationship functioning has the potential to generate a broader impact on couples and families.
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