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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Aug;81(2):263-77.

Self-control and accommodation in close relationships: an interdependence analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.


Accommodation refers to the willingness, when a partner has engaged in a potentially destructive behavior, to (a) inhibit impulses toward destructive responding and (b) instead respond constructively. A pilot study and 3 additional studies examined the hypothesis that self-control promotes individuals' ability to accommodate in response to a romantic partner's potentially destructive behavior. Dispositional self-control was positively associated with accommodative tendencies in all 4 investigations. In addition, Study 1 (a retrospective study) and Study 2 (a laboratory experiment) revealed that "in-the-moment" self-regulatory strength depletion decreased the likelihood that an individual would accommodate. Finally, Study 3 demonstrated that self-control exerted a significant effect on accommodation even after the authors included commitment to the relationship in the model. Implications for relationship functioning are discussed.

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