Emotional suppression in early marriage: Actor, partner, and similarity effects on marital quality

Patrizia Velotti, Stefania Balzarotti, Semira Tagliabue, Tammy English, Giulio C. Zavattini, Giulio Cesare Zavattini, James J. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Although habitual use of suppression has been consistently linked to adverse consequences for overall social functioning, little is known about the implications of using this emotion regulation strategy in the context of romantic relationships. The current longitudinal study tests whether husbands’ and wives’ habitual use of suppression, as well as couple similarity in the use of this strategy, influence marital quality over the first couple of years of marriage. A total of 229 newlywed couples reported their habitual use of suppression and perceived marital quality at two time points, 5 months and 2 years after marriage. Results showed that husbands’ habitual use of suppression was the most consistent predictor of (lower) marital quality over time. Couples showed significant levels of similarity in suppression at the initial assessment, consistent with positive assortment, and this similarity was a significant predictor of higher marital quality as reported by wives regardless of overall levels of suppression use. These findings suggest that husbands’ use of suppression is more harmful for marital satisfaction than wives’ use and wives are more sensitive to their partners’ use of suppression as well as to couple similarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-302
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Attachment Avoidance
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Marital Quality
  • Similarity
  • Suppression


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