Relationship satisfaction mediates the association between perceived partner mate retention strategies and relationship commitment

Bruna Nascimento, Anthony Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study investigated whether relationship satisfaction mediates the association between own and perceived partner mate-retention strategies and commitment. One hundred and fifty individuals (Mage = 23.87, SDage = 7.28; 78.7% women) in a committed relationship participated in this study. We found an association between perceived partner mate-retention strategies and commitment and that relationship satisfaction mediated this link. Similarly, we found that relationship satisfaction also mediated the association between individuals’ own cost-inflicting strategies and commitment. Specifically, perceived partner benefit-provisioning strategies are positively associated with commitment through increased relationship satisfaction and, conversely, both perceived partner and own cost-inflicting strategies are negatively associated with commitment through decreased relationship satisfaction. Additionally, we observed that relationship satisfaction moderated the association between perceived partner cost-inflicting strategies and participants’ own frequency of cost-inflicting strategies. That is, participants’ cost inflicting strategies are associated with their partner’s cost inflicting strategies, such that this association is stronger among individuals with higher relationship satisfaction. The current research extends previous findings by demonstrating that the association between perceived partner and own mate-retention strategies and commitment is mediated by relationship satisfaction. Additionally, we showed that an individual’s expression of mate retention is associated with their perception of the strategies displayed by their partner, which also depends on relationship satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2020


  • Commitment
  • Mate retention
  • Mediation
  • Relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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