The association between partner enhancement and self-enhancement and relationship quality outcomes

Dean M. Busby, Thomas B. Holman, Sylvia Niehuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to understand in greater detail, using 2 samples (Study 1 N = 4,881 heterosexual couples; Study 2 N = 335 heterosexual couples who completed the Relationship Evaluation Questionnaire), how partner or self-enhancement patterns differentially influence relationship outcomes. A multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted comparing 4 outcome measures for different couple types in which individuals rated the partner higher, the same, or lower than they rated themselves on affability. Couples in which both individuals perceived themselves as more affable than the partner experienced poorer results on the relationship outcome measures, whereas couples in which both individuals perceived the partner's personality as more affable than their own experienced more positive relationship outcomes. Additional analyses with structural equation models demonstrated the consistent influence of enhancement measures on relationship outcomes for cross-sectional and longitudinal samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-464
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009



  • Attributions
  • Dyadic data
  • Partner enhancement

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