Masculinity, Femininity and Relationship Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Interpersonal Competence

Leanne K. Lamke, Donna L. Sollie, Robin G. Durbin, Jacki A. Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine more fully the relationship between masculinity, femininity and satisfaction among dating couples. A multivariate causal model was developed and tested to assess Ickes' (1985) conceptual model of gender-role influences on relationship satisfaction. Dating couples (N = 174) completed the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire and the Relationship Satisfaction Scale. Results indicated that for both males and females, relationship satisfaction was related to their own expressive competence and to perceptions of their partner as feminine. Also, levels of expressive competence mediated the relationship between self-perceptions of femininity and satisfaction. For females, perceptions of partners' femininity were predicted by males' and females' self-perceived femininity. For males, perceptions of partners' femininity were predicted by females' self-perceived femininity and males' self-perceived masculinity. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings not only for the specific model of gender-role influences in dyadic interactions, but also for more ‘broadly conceived theories of relationship development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-554
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

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