Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Thomas, Cheryl D.

Second Advisor

Jarry, Josee L.

Keywords

Psychology, Communication, Couples, Dyadic perfectionism, Perfectionism, Relationshipquality, Relationship satisfaction

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and couples' negative communication patterns, particularly demandwithdraw and mutual avoidance-withholding patterns of communication, are among various factors that are associated with poor relationship quality. Individuals high in maladaptive dyadic perfectionism are inclined to believe that their romantic partner's performance always falls short of their high ideal expectations. Informed by Robins and Boldero's (2003) relational discrepancy theory, this study was designed to assess three primary questions: (a) How does maladaptive dyadic perfectionism relate to perceived relationship quality for both partners?; (b) How does maladaptive dyadic perfectionism relate to negative communication patterns between romantic partners?; and (c) Do negative communication patterns between partners mediate the association between maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and perceived relationship quality? Both partners in 113 heterosexual, monogamous, long-term romantic relationships were recruited from community resources and from the Psychology Department Participant Pool at the University of Windsor. All participants completed measures to assess dyadic perfectionism, communication patterns, relationship quality and other relationship variables. Structural Equation Modeling was used to assess hypotheses. Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) analyses indicated that actor but not partner effects were supported for men and women; maladaptive dyadic perfectionism in one partner was associated with their own perceptions of relationship quality, but not with their partner's perceptions of relationship quality. APIM analyses indicated that actor and partner effects between maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and communication were significant, with the exception of the partner effect between women's maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and men's reports of negative communication patterns. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model analysis indicated that actoractor mediated effects were significant for men and women; reports of negative communication patterns by one partner partially explained the association between their own maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and their personal perceptions of relationship quality. The hybrid APIM and Common Fate Mediation Model analysis indicated that a couple's negative communication patterns mediated the association between maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and perceived relationship quality for both partners when communication was assessed as a latent common fate variable. Thus, couples' negative communication patterns partially explain the association between maladaptive dyadic perfectionism and perceived relationship quality and contribute to our understanding of how maladaptive dyadic perfectionism relates to relationship dynamics

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