Sharing concerns: Interpersonal worry regulation in romantic couples.
Parkinson B., Simons G., Niven K.
Two dyadic studies investigated interpersonal worry regulation in heterosexual relationships. In Study 1, we video-recorded 40 romantic couples discussing shared concerns. Male partners' worry positively predicted female partners' interpersonal calming attempts, and negatively predicted female partners' interpersonal alerting attempts (i.e., attempts to make their partners appreciate the seriousness of concerns). Video-cued recall data also indicated that changes in partner A's worry over time positively predicted partner B's motivation to reduce partner A's worry, and that this effect was stronger when B was the female partner. Study 2 was a dyadic survey of 100 couples. Individual differences in partner A's negative affect were positive predictors of partner B's interpersonal calming, and individual differences in partner A's expressive suppression were negative predictors of partner B's interpersonal calming. Further, individual differences in male partners' expressivity were significant positive predictors of female partners' interpersonal calming, and individual differences in male partners' reappraisal were significant positive predictors of female partners' interpersonal alerting. These findings suggest that interpersonal worry regulation relates to partners' expression and intrapersonal regulation of worry, but not equally for men and women. (PsycINFO Database Record