The Role of Self-Reflection and Capitalization in Integrating Personally Self-Expanding Experiences in a Relational and Non-Relational Context

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  • Personal self-expansion (i.e., self-growth outside the relationship) may benefit relationships and the self. I hypothesized that personal self-expansion promotes relationship satisfaction and meaning in life especially for people who self-reflect and capitalize. In Study 1, a community sample (N=104), completed self-report measures of trait personal self-expansion, relationship satisfaction, capitalization, self-reflection, and meaning. In Study 2 (N=93), half of the sample was assigned to self-reflect (vs. control group) after all participants had engaged in a self-expanding sculpture activity. Relationship Satisfaction and meaning in life were assessed. Results were mixed. In Study 1, trait personal self-expansion predicted relationship satisfaction, especially if the partner reacts constructively to positive news. In Study 2, relationship satisfaction decreased after the activity but state personal self-expansion predicted meaning in life. Those that self-reflected reported positive changes in the amounts of meaning in life but those that did not self-reflect indicated negative changes.

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  • Copyright © 2016 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2016


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