A team of researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, explored the power of Thank You! in couple relationships. The study is published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
In order to understand how does relational gratitude protect couples, the researchers studied 316 middle-aged African American couples in rural Georgia for over 15 months.
The participants completed assessments about conflict resolution, perceived gratitude, expressions of gratitude, financial strain, perceived levels of relationship satisfaction, and perceived levels of relationship stability.
The results revealed that gratitude in relationships is associated with increased relationship satisfaction, commitment, and stability. In fact, reciprocal gratitude protects couples from challenges and hardships, such as negative communication, ineffective arguing, trust issues, and financial stress.
The authors elaborated: “Our main hypothesis was that perceived gratitude from one’s partner would have what we call stress-buffering effects—that it would protect couples from the declines in relationship quality that typically happen when you have negative communication or when you have higher levels of financial strain.”
To Know More You May Refer To
Barton, A. W., Jenkins, A. I. C., Gong, Q., Sutton, N. C., & Beach, S. R. (2022). The protective effects of perceived gratitude and expressed gratitude for relationship quality among African American couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 026540752211312. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075221131288