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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1999 Nov;77(5):942-66.

Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-3270, USA.


The present work advances and tests an interdependence-based model of the associations among commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust. Findings from two longitudinal studies revealed good support for model predictions. Commitment-inspired acts such as accommodation and willingness to sacrifice provide diagnostic information regarding a partner's pro-relationship motives. Individuals come to trust their partners when they perceive that their partners have enacted pro-relationship behaviors, departing from their direct self-interest for the good of the relationship. The results of mediation analyses are consistent with a model of mutual cyclical growth in which (a) dependence promotes strong commitment, (b) commitment promotes pro-relationship acts, (c) pro-relationship acts are perceived by the partner, (d) the perception of pro-relationship acts enhances the partner's trust, and (e) trust increases the partner's willingness to become dependent on the relationship. Auxiliary analyses revealed that self-reported attachment style does not account for substantial variance beyond the features of interdependence that form the basis for the present model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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