Conditions under which relational commitment leads to expressing or withholding relational complaints

Michael E. Roloff*, Denise H. Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Although relational commitment increases the likelihood that intimates will confront each other about relational problems, commitment may promote decisions to withhold complaints in some circumstances. We conducted a survey of undergraduate daters that focused on the conditions under which relational commitment prompts individuals to express or withhold relational complaints. As expected, we documented a positive association between relational commitment and the willingness to confront a partner; the magnitude of this association was stronger among respondents who had dated for less than a year compared to those who had been involved for a longer time. Despite this general trend, we also found that relational commitment was positively associated with withholding grievances because the respondent believed that the problem was minor and perceived the partner would not change. Finally, we observed an interaction between relational commitment and partner's supportiveness when predicting the number of complaints withheld. Among individuals who were not very committed to their relationships, the association between partner supportiveness and the number of irritations withheld was negative and statistically significant. Among highly committed respondents, the same association was positive and not significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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