Good days, bad days: Do sacrifices improve relationship quality?

Casey J. Totenhagen, Melissa A. Curran, Joyce Serido, Emily A. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We utilized interdependence theory and conservation of resources to understand how relational sacrifices and hassles impact positive relationship quality constructs (i.e., satisfaction, closeness, and commitment) in romantic relationships (N = 164 couples; 328 individuals). Using daily diary data to examine actor and partner effects, we found that individuals' sacrifices were positively linked with their own commitment but not with satisfaction or closeness. We also found that hassles were negatively linked with one's own and one's partner's satisfaction and closeness but not with commitment. When examined together, sacrifices remained beneficial for one's own commitment but only when increased sacrifices occurred on days with low hassles. We discuss the unique pathways of sacrifices and hassles, both on their own and considered together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-900
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript began as a portion of the first author’s doctoral dissertation and is from research supported in part by grants to the second author from the Frances McClelland Institute at The University of Arizona. The authors wish to thank Jared Durtschi, Erin Holmes, and Brian Willoughby for their thoughts and expertise regarding factor analysis with multilevel data as well as Carl Ridley for his feedback on previous drafts of this paper.


  • APIM
  • Daily diary
  • closeness
  • commitment
  • hassles
  • romantic relationships
  • sacrifices
  • satisfaction


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