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Relational Uncertainty and Relationship Talk within Courtship: A Longitudinal Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

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This study investigated the interplay between relational uncertainty and relationship talk for actors and partners over time. Participants were 135 romantic couples who completed an online survey once per week for six weeks. Between-person and within-person results indicated that people experiencing relational uncertainty appraised relationship talk as more threatening to themselves and to their courtship; they also reported avoiding more and enacting less relationship talk. Lagged analyses demonstrated that individuals who reported avoiding more and enacting less relationship talk in one week experienced more relational uncertainty in the following week. Partner effects, although not as prominent as actor effects, implied mutual influence within couples. The paper concludes by discussing how the findings advance scholarship on relational uncertainty and relationship talk.

Keywords: Courtship; Relational Uncertainty; Relationship Talk

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011


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