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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

People are powerfully motivated to form and maintain social relationships. Indeed, health and well-being are strongly tied to the course and quality of social bonds. However, while close relationships provide people with many advantages such as intimacy and social support, relationships can also be a detriment, such as when they are wrought with hostility and potential rejection. We present a framework of social and relationship motivation that simultaneously accounts for people's tendencies to both approach the incentives and avoid the threats in close relationships. Research examining the correlates of approach and avoidance motives and goals in relationships is reviewed and mediating mechanisms are explored. The implications and advantages of an approach and avoidance model of social motivation are highlighted and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: close relationships, approach motivation, avoidance motivation, social isolation, loneliness

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