Relational commitment and the silent treatment

Courtney N. Wright*, Michael Elwood Roloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


When upset with a relational partner, intimates often enact the silent treatment, although it can harm their relationships. This study investigates the degree to which relational commitment predicts a person's self-reported use of the silent treatment. Undergraduate daters indicated their relational commitment, their use of the silent treatment when upset with their partner, and what they do if the partner asks if they are upset. Relational commitment was negatively related to using the silent treatment and stonewalling when the partner asked if there was a problem. Relational commitment was only positively related to admitting being upset when the partner asked if there was a problem. Study limitations and future research implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalCommunication Research Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Ostracism
  • Relational Commitment
  • Silent Treatment
  • Social Confrontation
  • Stonewalling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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