Self-regulation in romantic relationships: The moderating effect of agreeableness on self-esteem and risk regulation
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This study investigates the effects of agreeableness and self-esteem on people’s accommodation tendencies within the framework of risk regulation theory. Accommodation refers to one’s tendency to inhibit destructive responses and respond constructively to one’s romantic partner’s transgressions. Informed by risk regulation research, I predicted that people with higher self-esteem (HSEs) will report higher constructive tendencies and lower destructive tendencies than those with lower self-esteem (LSEs). As agreeableness is associated with strong self-regulation abilities, I also predicted that people with higher agreeableness (HAs) will report being more constructive and less destructive than those with lower agreeableness (LAs). Furthermore, I hypothesized that high agreeableness will buffer the effect of low self-esteem, such that LSEs with higher agreeableness will report being more constructive and less destructive than LSEs with low agreeableness. Undergraduates (N = 180) completed measures of self-esteem and agreeableness. They underwent a relationship threat induction and completed the Accommodation Instrument as the outcome measure. Results showed that HAs or HSEs are more likely than LAs or LSEs to report constructive tendencies, and are less likely than LAs or LSEs to report destructive tendencies in response to their romantic partner’s future transgressions. However, the results showed only a marginally significant interaction of agreeableness and self-esteem on one of the destructive tendencies, namely neglect. Only people with higher levels of both agreeableness and self-esteem reported lower neglect when compared to people with lower levels of both or one of the two personality traits. This study highlights the importance of self-esteem and agreeableness in accommodation and risk regulation processes.
Cite this work
Shiu Man Kwok (2017). Self-regulation in romantic relationships: The moderating effect of agreeableness on self-esteem and risk regulation. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12169