Daily relationship quality in same-sex couples: Attachment and sacrifice motives

Ashley N. Cooper, Casey J. Totenhagen, Melissa A. Curran, Ashley Randall, Natalie E. Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    Previous researchers examining romantic couples' dynamics have highlighted important behaviors, such as sacrifice motives, that can enhance or detract from relationship quality. It is equally as important to understand what individual characteristics contribute to these relationship behaviors. We examined how daily sacrifice motives (i.e., approach and avoidance) and attachment insecurity (i.e., anxiety and avoidance) interact to predict relationship quality in a sample of 81 same-sex couples (58 = female, 23 = male couples). Using 14-day daily diary data, we hypothesized that daily approach motives would be positively associated with relationship quality, whereas daily avoidance motives would be negatively associated with relationship quality. As expected, results showed a positive association between daily approach motives, and a negative association between avoidance motives, and relationship quality; however, these associations were moderated by attachment insecurity and gender. Specifically, we found that approach motives were associated with greater relationship quality, and avoidance motives with lower relationship quality, for women low in attachment insecurity and men high in attachment insecurity. Results highlight the importance of understanding the nuances in the associations among sacrifice motives, attachment, and relationship quality, for men and women in same-sex relationships.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)146-160
    Number of pages15
    JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


    • Attachment
    • Daily diary
    • Relationship quality
    • Sacrifice motives
    • Same-sex couples

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Social Psychology


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