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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Responsiveness consists of partners interacting in ways such that they understand, value, and support each other in fulfilling important personal needs and goals. Responsiveness supports and strengthens both the relationship and its members. This chapter presents a broad theoretical account of what responsiveness is and how it operates in close relationships, emphasizing conceptual linkages between responsiveness and a variety of related constructs in the literature. We consider responsiveness to be the prototype of an interpersonal process that unfolds over time and in which both partners' behavior matters. Our account considers the role of responsiveness across the life span and in both emerging and established relationships. We suggest responsiveness is a sufficiently far-reaching process to be able to help organize myriad and disparate theories and themes in the relationship literature into a more cohesive theoretical entity.

Keywords: responsiveness, intimacy, communal relationships, caring

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