Avivi, Y. E., Laurenceau, J-P., & Carver, C. S. (2009). Linking relationship quality to perceived mutuality of relationship goals and perceived goal progress. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28, 137-164.

Two goal-related variables were examined as predictors of relationship quality. One was the perception of mutuality of goals held for the relationship; the other was the perception of progress regarding those goals. A mediation model was considered whereby relationship goal mutuality predicted quality via perception of goal progress. Study 1 examined cross-sectional associations among these variables in 245 dating participants. Results of a path analysis (controlling for effects of relationship conflict) were consistent with the mediation model. Study 2 replicated these findings in a sample of 78 committed romantic couples, using an electronic diary methodology to gather data from both partners about relationship quality across multiple time points. Study 2 also extended the findings by examining a model with both mediated actor effects and mediated partner effects. Findings suggest a central role for shared goals and for perceptions of goal progress in the context of romantic relationships.

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