Protected by your self-control: the influence of partners’ self-control on actors’ responses to interpersonal risk

Sarah Gomillion, Veronica Lamarche, Sandra Murray, Brianna Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Self-control allows people to curb destructive behavior and behave more pro-socially in relationships. Thus, individuals generally trust partners with high dispositional self-control more. However, it is not clear whether partner self-control influences individuals’ responses to acutely risky situations, such as when partners are rejecting. A daily diary study of married and cohabiting couples examined whether actors with high self-control partners behave less self-protectively in risky situations. On days partners were highly rejecting, actors were less likely to retaliate against and more likely to value high self-control partners. On days after partners had been rejecting, actors also reported that high self-control partners behaved more responsively. Actors also trusted partners with high self-control more regardless of risk. Taken together, our findings suggest that partners’ greater self-control may help foster more positive interaction cycles in romantic relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-882
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014



  • self regulation
  • close relationships
  • romantic relationships
  • self-control
  • risk regulation

Cite this