The stability and change of trait emotional intelligence, conflict communication patterns, and relationship satisfaction: A one-year longitudinal study

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We examined the stability and change of trait emotional intelligence (EI), conflict communication patterns and relationship satisfaction in cohabiting heterosexual couples over a 12-month period. Participants were 45 couples (n = 90) who completed the TEIQue – Short Form (Petrides & Furnham, 2006), the Communication Patterns Questionnaire (Christensen & Sullaway, 1984), and the Perceived Relationship Quality Components (PRQC) Inventory (Fletcher, Simpson, & Thomas, 2000). We examined both actor and partner effects. We found that, for individuals, the effect of self-rated EI on their own satisfaction was stable over the 12-month period and was not related to changes in satisfaction over time. We also found that women’s reports of avoidance and withholding predicted declines in both men’s and women’s satisfaction over time. We discuss the potential importance of EI and communication patterns in promoting relationship satisfaction.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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