Accommodation Processes in Close Relationships: Theory and Preliminary Empirical Evidence


Journal Article

A theory of accommodation processes is advanced, and the results of 6 studies are reported. Accommodation refers to the willingness, when a partner has engaged in a potentially destructive act, to inhibit impulses to react destructively and instead react constructively. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that accommodation is lower under conditions of reduced social concern and lower interdependence. Studies 3, 4, and 5 revealed that accommodation is associated with greater satisfaction, commitment, investment size, centrality of relationship, psychological femininity, and partner perspective taking and with poorer quality alternatives. Commitment plays a fairly strong role in mediating willingness to accommodate. Study 6 showed that couple functioning is associated with greater joint and mutual tendencies to inhibit destructive reactions. Study 6 also demonstrated that self-reports of accommodation are related to relevant behavioral measures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rusbult, CE; Verette, J; Whitney, GA; Slovik, LF; Lipkus, I

Published Date

  • January 1, 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 60 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 53 - 78

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.60.1.53

Citation Source

  • Scopus