Trajectories of relationship perceptions over time in newlyweds

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Partners tend to perceive their couple relationship as better than the relationships of the average other. This tendency is generally known as perceived superiority and is a key element of committed, satisfying relationships. Despite the importance of this kind of perceptions, especially at early stages of relationships, little is known about their patterns of change over time. The first aim of the present study is to identify trajectories in the perceptions of one’s relationship and the perceptions of the relationship of the average other among newlyweds. The first years of marriage are in fact a crucial time for partners, in which they are generally happy with their relationship but they are also experiencing challenges deriving from critical transitions such as marriage and, sometimes, parenthood. In the evaluation of their relationship across these transitions partners may be then particularly influenced by their perceptions of others’ relationships. The second aim is to detect factors related to family, couple and individual functioning that may discriminate among these trajectories. Relying on data from ninety-seven couples assessed three times over four years (at 18-month intervals) beginning shortly before marriage, we identified distinct and predictable trajectories over time in relationship perceptions. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite17th General Meeting of the European Association for Social Psychology - Abstract book
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
Evento17th General Meeting of the European Association for Social Psychology - Amsterdam
Durata: 9 lug 201412 lug 2014


Convegno17th General Meeting of the European Association for Social Psychology


  • Couple relationship
  • perceived superiority
  • trajectories


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