A relational turbulence model of communication about irritations in romantic relationships

Jennifer A. Theiss, Denise Haunani Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The authors examined the impact of intimacy, relational uncertainty, and a partner's interference on the directness of communication about relational irritations. The authors hypothesized that directness has (a) a positive association with the perceived negativity of irritations, intimacy, and self uncertainty; (b) a negative association with relationship uncertainty; (c) a negative association with partner uncertainty that is mediated by relationship uncertainty; and (d) a positive association with a partner's interference that is mediated by the perceived negativity of irritations. The authors conducted a longitudinal Web-based survey in which individuals in romantic associations reported on qualities of their relationships once per week for 6 weeks. A structural equation model of data from the first week was consistent with the authors' hypotheses. Longitudinal analyses of the full data set using hierarchical linear modeling provided mixed support for the authors' predictions. The article discusses the implications of the findings for understanding both communicative directness and turbulence within developing dating relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-418
Number of pages28
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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