Sharing Concerns: Interpersonal Worry Regulation in Romantic Couples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Tinbergen building

Abstract

Two dyadic studies investigated interpersonal worry regulation in heterosexual relationships. In study 1, we video-recorded 40 romantic couples discussing shared concerns. Male partners’ worry positively predicted female partners’ interpersonal calming attempts, and negatively predicted female partners’ interpersonal alerting attempts (i.e., attempts to make their partners appreciate the seriousness of concerns). Video-cued recall data also indicated that changes in partner A’s worry over time positively predicted partner B’s motivation to reduce partner A’s worry, and that this effect was stronger when B was the female partner. Study 2 was a dyadic survey of 100 couples. Individual differences in partner A’s negative affect were positive predictors of partner B’s interpersonal calming, and individual differences in partner A’s expressive suppression were negative predictors of partner B’s interpersonal calming. Further, individual differences in male partners’ expressivity were significant positive predictors of female partners’ interpersonal calming, and individual differences in male partners’ reappraisal were significant positive predictors of female partners’ interpersonal alerting. These findings suggest that interpersonal worry regulation relates to partners’ expression and intrapersonal regulation of worry, but not equally for men and women.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-458
JournalEmotion
Volume16
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016