Contributions to well-being in romantic relationships



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Texas Tech University


The present research examined the relationships among selected health- promoting behaviors as well as between these behaviors and life satisfaction, a proxy for overall quality of life. In past research, physical health, social support, self-disclosure, respect, and other relationship variables have been positively associated with life satisfaction, but depressive symptoms have been negatively associated with life satisfaction. The six measures used for this study included the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffen, 1985), the Relationship Assessment Scale (S. Hendrick, 1988), the Respect Toward Partner Scale (S. Hendrick & Hendrick, 2006), the Self-Disclosure Index (Miller, Berg, & Archer, 1983), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dalhem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988), five items measuring exercise and six items measuring nutrition from the Health –Promoting Lifestyle Profile (Walker, Sechrist, & Pender, 1987), and the Center for Epidemiological Studies—Depressed Mood Scale (Radloff, 1977). Correlations and regression analyses examined relationships among the variables. Significant correlations were found among the health-promoting variables, and between the health-promoting variables and life satisfaction for the total sample, the partnered sample, and the single sample. Health-promoting behaviors also predicted life satisfaction for each sample in regression equations. Respect toward partner, self-respect, self-disclosure, social support, physical activity, depressive symptoms, relationship satisfaction, commitment, and investment were predictors of life satisfaction for the total sample. Investment, depressive symptoms, respect toward partner, social support, commitment, and relationship satisfaction were predictors for the partnered sample. Social support, physical activity, self-respect, and depressive symptoms were predictors of life satisfaction for the single sample. Compared to single individuals, partnered individuals reported greater life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms. However, single individuals were more physically active than partnered individuals. These findings are discussed in detail, and both clinical implications and future research possibilities are presented.