“I’m so excited for you!” How an enthusiastic responding intervention enhances close relationships

  • Woods S
  • Lambert N
  • Brown P
 et al. 
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Abstract

The positive impact of active–constructive responding (i.e., showing enthusiasm) to the sharing of good news (i.e., capitalization attempts) on relationship well-being is well documented. The objective of this research was to determine whether individuals in a close relationship benefit from training to increase active–constructive responding to partner capitalization attempts and to document its impact on relationship well-being. Compared with a joint activity control group, individuals who received training in pro-viding active–constructive responses perceived a greater amount of gratitude from their study partner and perceived their study partner as having greater relationship satisfac-tion; however, there were no significant differences in reported relationship satisfaction or gratitude expression. Gratitude receipt from a study partner mediated the relation-ship between experimental condition and perceived study partner relationship satisfac-tion. These results are discussed in terms of their potential impact on interventions and future research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Active–constructive responding
  • capitalization
  • gratitude
  • relationship satisfaction

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