Deconstructing the association between relationship maintenance and commitment: Testing two competing models


  • The author wishes to thank Carl Ridley and Catherine Surra for their insightful comments and assistance with the preparation of this manuscript as well as the action editor and the four anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions.

Brian G. Ogolsky, School of Human Ecology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, A2700, Austin, TX 78712, e-mail:


In this study, the author compares 2 models: the information-seeking model, in which perceptions of relationship maintenance predict subsequent commitment, and the motivational model, in which commitment predicts subsequent perceptions of relationship maintenance, by means of a daily, cross-lagged, dyadic design. The moderating effects of relationship length and global commitment are also tested. A sample of 98 same-sex couples from the United States completed an Internet daily diary for 14 consecutive days. The results of 2 hierarchical linear models showed that, as predicted, the information-seeking model was characteristic of couples who had been together for a shorter amount of time whereas the motivational model better characterized couples who had been together longer.