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Balancing Concern for Other With Concern for Self: Links Between Unmitigated Communion, Communion, and Psychological Well-Being


concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Jennifer Aubé, Division of Social Sciences, Roberts Wesleyan College, 2301 Westside Drive, Rochester, NY 14624. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Previous research has demonstrated the importance of distinguishing between positive (communion) and negative (unmitigated communion) characteristics when investigating the relation between traditional feminine gender roles and psychological adjustment. However, previous work has relied on cross-sectional analysis of self-reported unmitigated communion and self-reported emotional distress. The present series of studies was designed to address this limitation by using multiple methodologies to examine the relation between unmitigated communion (UC) and psychological adjustment. Study 1 examined the relation between self- and peer reports in a sample of 102 college students. Study 2 examined the relation between communion, UC, and adjustment in a community sample of 94 adults using a 10-year longitudinal design. Study 3 used a daily diary methodology to examine the relation between these constructs, social functioning, and depressed mood in a sample of 78 college women. Results from the three studies converged to demonstrate that unmitigated communion is an important factor that impacts negatively on the psychological adjustment of men and women.