Relational turbulence and couples’ convergence and divergence in weekly highs and lows during three months of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown

Shaochun Li, Denise Haunani Solomon, Kellie St Cyr Brisini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has found relational benefits of interpersonal emotional convergence. Drawing on relational turbulence theory, we expected that partners’ convergence in emotional high and low points is associated with relational uncertainty, qualities of interdependence, and relational turbulence. These hypotheses were tested using data retrieved from a longitudinal project in which spouses in 64 American married couples independently reported high and low experiences and completed relationship measures every week for ten weeks from June to August of 2020. Results from multilevel models confirmed some of the hypothesized benefits of convergence in highs, but predictions about convergence in lows were largely unsupported. The findings suggest that dyadic emotion is an antecedent of relational turbulence processes and highlight the importance of sharing positive experiences for maintaining relationship health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-793
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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