Accentuating the Positive, Eliminating the Negative? Relationship Maintenance as a Predictor of Two-Dimensional Relationship Quality


  • School of Health and Social Studies, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Piippukatu 3, FI-40620 Jyväskylä, Finland.

Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland (


In this study, relationship maintenance and its connections with positive and negative relationship quality were examined among Finnish parents (N = 177 women and 153 men; i.e., partners from 150 couples and 27 women and 3 men whose partner did not participate in the study). Relationship maintenance was measured using Stafford, Dainton, and Haas's (2000) version of the RMSM and two-dimensional relationship quality using Fincham and Linfield's (1997) PANQIMS. Structural equation modeling was utilized to analyze paired data. Women were found to report more relationship maintenance behaviors than their partners. The results showed further that relationship maintenance was connected with both positive and negative relationship quality. Women's maintenance was linked with their own positive and negative relationship quality and their partners' negative quality. Men's relationship maintenance was connected only with their own experiences of positive quality. All in all, women's relationship maintenance played a more central role for relationship quality.