Journal article

The Sum of Friends' and Lovers' Self-Control Scores Predicts Relationship Quality

Kathleen D Vohs, Catrin Finkenauer, Roy F Baumeister

Social Psychological and Personality Science | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2011


What combination of partners' trait self-control levels produces the best relationship outcomes? The authors tested three hypotheses-complementarity (large difference in trait self-control scores), similarity (small difference in self-control scores), and totality (large sum of self-control scores)-in three diverse samples: friends, dating partners, and married couples living in the United States and the Netherlands who were tracked cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Results consistently favored the totality model: the more total self-control, the better the relationship fared. Multiple benefits were found for having mutually high self-control, including relationship satisfaction, forgive..

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