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