Perceiving regulation from intimate partners: Reflected appraisal and self-regulation processes in close relationships

Authors

  • NICKOLA C. OVERALL,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Auckland, New Zealand
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Nickola C. Overall, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Garth J. O. Fletcher, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

  • GARTH J. O. FLETCHER

    1. University of Canterbury, New Zealand
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Nickola C. Overall, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Garth J. O. Fletcher, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.


  • This research was supported by UARC Grant 3607021. We thank Sivai Faingataa, Sophie Lightfoot-Neale, Josephine Ogle, David Pirie, and Anna Westman for their assistance with data collection.

Nickola Overall, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand, e-mail: n.overall@auckland.ac.nz.

Abstract

Cross-sectional (N = 202) and longitudinal analyses over a 6-month period (N = 155) assessed the consequences of perceiving regulation attempts from romantic partners. Greater perceived regulation from the partner was associated with more negative inferences regarding how closely individuals matched their partner's ideal standards in the targeted domain (inferred ideal consistency). Lower inferred ideal consistency, in turn, was associated with poorer relationship evaluations and predicted more negative perceptions of targeted self-attributes. Individuals also directly responded to their partner's regulation efforts with attempts to change targeted features. Finally, perceiving more negative regulation strategies produced lower inferred ideal consistency, relationship evaluations, and self-regulation efforts, whereas perceiving more positive strategies predicted greater inferred ideal consistency across time. The operation of reflected appraisal and self-regulation processes within romantic relationships is discussed.

Ancillary