Regret for complaint withholding

Esther Liu*, Michael E. Roloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines regret for withholding relational complaints. The study sample of 393 participants completed measures of irritant frequency, irritant importance, relational intimacy, emotional distress from withholding, and regret for withholding. Irritant frequency mediated the positive relationship between length of withholding and irritant importance. This process predicted less intimacy and more emotional distress from withholding, the latter of which related to regret. Alternative paths were also found between length of withholding and regret. Results offer important implications for the role of regret management in hurtful confrontations and may inform other avoidance forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-92
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Complaint withholding
  • Festering model
  • Regret

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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