Disentangling acceptance: direct and indirect effects of partner acceptance on felt acceptance and relationship satisfaction
Acceptance in intimate relationships predicts relationship satisfaction, as well as positive treatment outcomes in some couple interventions. However, little research has attempted to disentangle the dyadic effects of husbands’ and wives’ partner acceptance (i.e., acceptance of one’s partner) and felt acceptance (i.e., felt sense of being accepted by one’s partner) on relationship satisfaction. This study utilized a modified actor–partner interdependence mediation model (APIMeM) to examine whether the associations between acceptance of one’s partner and each partner’s relationship satisfaction are mediated by each partner’s felt acceptance. We analyzed baseline self-report data from 209 heterosexual married couples who participated in a brief marital intervention in the United States. The final model supported the prediction that a person’s acceptance of their partner would relate to their partner’s relationship satisfaction through their partner’s felt acceptance (i.e., an “accuracy effect”) and to their own relationship satisfaction through their own felt acceptance (i.e., a “projection effect”). In all, the study demonstrates the utility of examining partner acceptance and felt acceptance as distinct, but related, constructs. Researchers and clinicians working with couples may consider conceptualizing, assessing, and even targeting partners and felt acceptance separately
Journal of Family Psychology
Rossman, Setareh M.; Lerner, Rachel E.; and Córdova, James V., "Disentangling acceptance: direct and indirect effects of partner acceptance on felt acceptance and relationship satisfaction" (2021). Psychology. 28.