Values in romantic relationships

Reine C. van der Wal, Lukas F. Litzellachner, Johan C. Karremans, Nadia Buiter, Jamie Breukel, Gregory R. Maio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


There are substantive theoretical questions about whether personal values affect romantic relationship functioning. The current research tested the association between personal values and romantic relationship quality while considering potential mediating mechanisms related to pro-relational attitudes, communal strength, intrinsic relationship motivation, and entitlement. Across five studies using different measures of value priorities, we found that the endorsement of self-transcendence values (i.e., benevolence, universalism) was related to higher romantic relationship quality. The findings provided support for the mediating roles of pro-relational attitudes, communal strength, and intrinsic relationship motivation. Finally, a dyadic analysis in our fifth study showed that self-transcendence values mostly influence a person’s own relationship quality but not that of their partner. These findings provide the first evidence that personal values are important variables in romantic relationship functioning while helping to map the mechanisms through which this role occurs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Early online date21 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • attitudes
  • relationship quality
  • romantic relationship functioning
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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