Perceived support for promotion-focused and prevention-focused goals: Associations with well-being in unmarried and married couples

D.C. Molden, G.M. Lucas, E.J. Finkel, M. Kumashiro, C.E. Rusbult

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    Abstract

    Perceived emotional support from close relationship partners in times of stress is a major predictor of well-being. However, recent research has suggested that, beyond emotional support, perceived support for achieving personal goals is also important for well-being. The present study extends such research by demonstrating that associations of perceived goal support with well-being differ depending on how people represent their goals and the general motivational context in which they pursue these goals. Among unmarried romantic partners, for whom the context of the relationship presumably is largely attainment oriented, perceived support for attainment-relevant (or promotion-focused) goals independently predicted relationship and personal well-being, whereas perceived support for maintenance-relevant (or prevention-focused) goals did not. In contrast, among married partners, for whom the context of the relationship presumably is both attainment and maintenance oriented, perceived support for both promotion-focused and prevention-focused goals independently predicted well-being. We discuss the implications for forecasting and improving well-being among married couples. Copyright © 2009 Association for Psychological Science.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)787-793
    JournalPsychological Science
    Volume20
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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