This study examined how participants perceive their relational history with their current partner, and how those perceptions predicted relational well-being in 66 dating and 65 married couples. Perceptions of relationship development history were assessed through (1) coding of cognitive appraisals in the Oral History Interview and (2) self-reports from a measure of Relationship Development Breadth, which documented whether participants experienced certain thoughts, feelings, or behaviors typical of relationship development. Relational well-being was operationalized as relational satisfaction and stability, and was measured both concurrently and at a six-month follow-up. Greater Time 1 relational well-being was explained by reports of greater relationship development breadth and more positive oral history appraisals. Lower Time 2 satisfaction and Time 2 break-up (stability) were related to reports of little relational development breadth and negative oral history appraisals made by females. The results indicated similar patterns in the oral history appraisals of married and dating couples. In addition, the Relationship Development Breadth measure demonstrated good concurrent and predictive validity.
- Marital satisfaction
- Oral history
- Relationship development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science