Abstract and Keywords
This chapter addresses when, how, and why self and partner regulation processes operate in close relationships. Two forms of dyadic regulation are discussed. The first explores why and how people in relationships try to change each other and the consequences that ensue. Analysis of relevant research suggests that successful relationship improvement requires the person who wants change to communicate in ways that maintain targets' felt regard and the person targeted for change to be sufficiently responsive to the partner's desires and influence attempts. The second examines how relationship partners can protect or buffer their relationship from the hostility and withdrawal that often accompany attachment insecurity. Recent research indicates that partners can help insecure individuals regulate their negative affect and behavior more effectively, resulting in more satisfying and stable relationships. The final section demonstrates how a dyadic perspective can be applied to other regulation processes, pushing research in new directions.
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