About this Research Topic
Building strong relationships is a fundamental human need and finding an intimate partner is evolutionary important for survival and procreation. Together with individual differences (e.g., attachment style, personality traits, positive and negative emotions, emotion regulation, personality similarity, etc.), dyadic processes (e.g., self-disclosure, communication, social support, dyadic stress, dyadic emotion regulation, dyadic coping, infidelity, forgiveness, etc.) influence both the individual’s psychological and/or physiological well-being, as well as the quality of his/her intimate relationship (e.g., intimacy, commitment, love, and relationship satisfaction).
Firstly, the quality and quantity of intimate relationships are important. What happens inside couples’ life is important, because intimate interaction affect relationship satisfaction and well-being, and marital processes in early marriage can predict couples’ future marital quality. Research findings indicated that intimate relationships: (a) have significant effects on health, costs and benefits; (b) affect health through behavioral, psychosocial, and physiological pathways; (c) shape health outcomes throughout the life course and have a cumulative impact on health over time.
Secondly, consistent research findings indicate that intimate relationships (romantic or marital) are one of the longer-term relations, more salient, and mutually influential relations. Only four decades ago, the theory of interdependence indicated a key feature of intimate relationships: the interdependence or interconnectedness between one partner’s activities or qualities and the other partner’s outcomes. Interdependence involves a balance of self and partner within the relationship, recognizing that both partners are working to meet each other's physical and emotional needs in appropriate and meaningful ways. An interdependent person recognizes the value of vulnerability, being able to turn to their partner in appropriate ways to create emotional intimacy. However, internal and external stress, the difficulties of coping with problems and regulating emotions in the couple, the deceptions in relationships erode the quality of the couple's relationship and weaken a partner’s emotional connection.
Thirdly, more recently, new research methodologies and data analytic models were specifically developed for analyzing dyadic data and assessing the interdependence in couple relationships. The new and appropriate research methods include but are not limited to actor-partner interdependence models, common fate models, multi-level analysis, growth curve modeling, use of phantom data, mixed methods, structural equation modeling, the analysis of the explanatory mechanism of the relations between processes and outcomes (e.g., moderators and mediators).
This Research Topic invites all couple researchers to submit their contributions addressing individual/dyadic processes and their effects on the health and/or on the quality of intimate relationships.
Themes of interest for this Research Topic include (but are not limited to) the following:
• will be focused on the links between individual and dyadic processes and intra- as well as interindividual outcomes,
• will use as a premise the data interdependence,
• will be mainly focusing on the dyad as a unit of analysis,
• will use state-of-the-art dyadic research methods, and
• most studies will be focused on the explanation of the relationships between individual/dyadic processes and their outcomes through the mechanisms underlying this association (mediators or moderators),
• all studies will be focused on intimate relationships (romantic or marital).
Keywords: couple psychology, dyadic / individual processes, health outcomes, relationship quality, dyadic analytic models
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.