Couples’ extrinsic emotion regulation and dyadic adjustment: an actor‑partner interdependence model analysis



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Couples’ extrinsic emotion regulation strategies are associated with marital quality or dyadic adjustment. However, only the strategies employed according to the objective they are expected to achieve have been examined; it is not known if strategies on the bases of positive or negative extrinsic emotion regulation motivation would have the same consequences for the dyad. The purpose of this study was to examine if extrinsic emotion regulation (EER) predicts one’s own and one’s partner’s dyadic adjustment and if this effect differs by gender and relationship length. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (a type of dyadic data analysis, which incorporates the scores of the two members of the relationship into the analyses), data from 103 Chilean couples who completed self-report scales on dyadic adjustment and EER were analyzed. The participants were between 22 and 78 years old (Mmen = 39.84, SD = 11.37; Mwomen = 38.01, SD = 10.64), and the relationship lengths were between 1 and 50 years (M = 12.98, SD = 11.53). The motivation or the intention to make the partner feel good (positive) or bad (negative) respectively predict higher and lower dyadic adjustment in both the one who uses the strategy (actor) and the receiver of the strategy (partner). There was no difference by gender or by duration of the relationship in the dyads, but there was with children in common. It is important to consider the motivation underlying the emotional management of the couple, given its implication in marital quality and the need to broaden the understanding of other EERs related to healthy dyadic functioning.



Extrinsic emotion regulation, Dyadic adjustment, Emotional interdependence, Negative extrinsic regulation, Positive extrinsic regulation, Couple


Kinkead, A., Salas, C. & Ewert, C.P. Couples’ extrinsic emotion regulation and dyadic adjustment: an actor-partner interdependence model analysis. Curr Psychol (2022).