Correlates of Relationship Beliefs: Gender, Relationship Experience and Relationship Satisfaction

Patricia A. Frazier, Ellen Esterly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to (a) assess the role of gender, gender-related personality attributes, age and relationship experience in explaining individual differences in relationship beliefs; (b) test various explanations of gender differences in relationship beliefs; and (c) examine correlates of relationship satisfaction for men and women. Subjects (N = 337), who ranged in age from 19 to 47, completed questionnaires assessing relationship beliefs, gender-related personality attributes, relationship experience, proposed mediators of gender differences in relationship beliefs and relationship satisfaction. Results indicated, first, that men and women differed somewhat in their relationship beliefs, and that both instrumental and expressive personality traits were predictive of relationship beliefs. Relationship experience was also associated with relationship beliefs, although more so for women than men. Second, regression analyses provided evidence regarding various mediators of gender differences in relationship beliefs. For example, it appeared that men were more game-playing' in their intimate relationships than women because they were less aware of the emotional aspects of their relationships and placed greater importance on sex. Finally, relationship beliefs and relationship experience were associated with relationship satisfaction, accounting for more than 50 percent of the variance in satisfaction for both men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-352
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1990

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Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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