Emily A Impett

Emily A Impett

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157
Publications
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Publications

Publications (157)
Article
Background Postpartum sexual concerns are associated with depressive symptoms, distress, and lower relationship satisfaction, and are commonly reported by both mothers and their partners. Previous studies have examined changes in postpartum sexual concern using aggregate scores and have not examined patterns of change for unique concerns, thus igno...
Article
Background: A younger age at sexual intercourse has frequently been linked to adverse sexual health outcomes. Yet, little is known about its associations with healthy sexual function, and less still about the timing of pre-coital sexual debuts and adult sexual health. Aim: We examined associations between an earlier sexual debut and subsequent s...
Article
Choosing who to pursue as a romantic partner can have wide-reaching consequences. Attachment anxiety (i.e., need for reassurance) and avoidance (i.e., comfort with closeness) are associated with relationship quality and maintenance, but do people accurately perceive a date’s attachment style and are these perceptions associated with dating interest...
Preprint
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*Update* Published July 15, 2022 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.06.004 Background. Postpartum sexual concerns are associated with depressive symptoms, distress, and lower relationship satisfaction, and are commonly reported by both mothers and their partners. Previous studies have examined changes in postpartum sexual concern using aggregat...
Article
In a sample of 229 individuals who recently undertook a large-scale sacrifice by relocating for their romantic partner's job or schooling (i.e., accompanying partners), we tested preregistered predictions linking accompanying partners' attachment insecurities (i.e., attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance) and relationship functioning (i.e., re...
Article
Although engaging in exciting, shared activities with a partner is one strategy for warding off relational boredom , people might be less likely to pursue these activities when they are bored, which could have implications for the maintenance of passion in romantic relationships. In the current study, we assessed couple members' (N = 122 couples) d...
Article
Full-text available
Beliefs about sexuality tend to become more salient during sexual challenges and are associated with how individuals respond to these difficulties and, in turn, their sexual well-being. The transition to parenthood is marked by significant changes to couples’ sexuality. As such, this period of vulnerability may be an important context in which thes...
Article
Full-text available
Receiving a request to change from a romantic partner can evoke intense emotional responses that hinder change progress and conflict resolution. As such, investigating how those being asked to change (i.e., change targets) regulate their emotions through key intrapersonal strategies (i.e., suppression and reappraisal) will lend crucial insight into...
Article
Gender differences in experience of first intercourse are among the largest in sexuality research, with women recalling less pleasure and satisfaction than men. This "enjoyment gap" has not been considered in explanations of gender differences in sexual desire. Yet, reinforcement and incentive learning features prominently in recent models of women...
Article
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In the current research, we investigated perceptual accuracy in romantic partners’ detection of sexual rejection. In two daily diary studies of predominantly cisgender heterosexual couples, we examined patterns of accuracy and bias concerning both the degree of sexual disinterest (Study 1; N = 98 couples) and occurrence of sexual rejection (Study 2...
Article
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Romantic partners regularly sacrifice their own self-interest when partners' needs and preferences diverge. The present work examines the role of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR)-impressions that one's partner is understanding, caring, and validating-in positively shaping people's appraisals of their relational sacrifices. In Study 1, a prere...
Article
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Intimate partners engage in sex for a variety of reasons, and their perceptions of each other’s sexual goals play an important role in intimate relationships. How accurate are these perceptions of a partner’s sexual goals and is accuracy associated with relationship quality and sexual satisfaction for the couple? To answer these questions, we condu...
Article
Romantic partners often regulate their emotions and affection to achieve certain goals, but research has yet to explore how partners regulate their expression of sexual desire during sex and its implications for couples’ well-being. In two multi-part dyadic diary studies of primarily mixed-gender couples in longer-term relationships residing in Nor...
Article
While previous research has found that prosocial behavior increases personal and relationship well-being, a particularly costly type of prosocial behavior—sacrifice—can sometimes have aversive effects and is the focus of the current review. We consider effects for both the individual who enacts the sacrifice and the recipient. Sacrifice can take a...
Conference Paper
Urgent societal problems, including climate change, require innovation, and can benefit from interdisciplinary solutions. A small body of research has demonstrated the potential of positive emotions (e.g., gratitude, awe) to promote creativity and prosocial behavior, which may help address these problems. This study integrates, for the first time,...
Article
Full-text available
In an integrative review, we examine four theories and models of romantic passion to determine what causes feelings of romantic passion. Although a growing consensus has emerged for the definition of romantic passion, we suggest that this is largely not the case for the source of romantic passion. We outline how four different perspectives—Limerenc...
Article
Objective To provide a more comprehensive understanding of couple relationship satisfaction, commitment, and the dynamic between the two over the transition to parenthood. Background The transition to parenthood is an ideal time to concurrently study relationship satisfaction and commitment, as this period is filled with familial transitions such...
Article
Full-text available
Relationship science contends that the quality of couples’ communication predicts relationship satisfaction over time. Most studies testing these links have examined between-person associations, yet couple dynamics are also theorized at the within-person level: For a given couple, worsened communication is presumed to predict deteriorations in futu...
Article
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Spending time with a romantic partner by going on dates is important for promoting closeness in established relationships; however, not all date nights are created equally, and some people might be more adept at planning dates that promote closeness. Drawing from the self-expansion model and relationship goals literature, we predicted that people h...
Article
Romantic passion represents one of the most fragile and elusive elements of relationship quality but one that is increasingly valued and tied to relationship and individual well-being. We provide the first examination of whether experiencing personal self-expansion-positive self-change and personal growth without a romantic partner-is a critical pr...
Article
Background The transition to parenthood is associated with changes to new parents’ mood and sexual health. Sexual dysfunction—problems with sexual function accompanied by sexual distress (i.e., worries and concerns about one’s sex life)—is linked to poorer overall health, yet few studies have examined how sexual dysfunction unfolds for couples duri...
Article
Affectionate touch is crucial for well-being. However, attachment avoidance is associated with negative attitudes toward touch. We tested two preregistered hypotheses about how attachment avoidance influences the association between touch in romantic couples and psychological well-being. We examined whether greater attachment avoidance is associate...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual need fulfillment in a relationship is associated with both partners' sexual and relationship quality. In the current research, we explored what underlies two approaches to sexual need fulfillment-sexual communal norms (i.e., being motivated to meet a partner's sexual needs) and sexual exchange norms (i.e., tracking and trading sexual benefit...
Article
Despite growing evidence that showing gratitude plays a powerful role in building social connections, little is known about how to best express gratitude to maximize its relational benefits. In this research, we examined how two key ways of expressing gratitude-conveying that the benefactor's kind action met one's needs (responsiveness-highlighting...
Article
Research suggests that touch promotes relationship well-being but has failed to consider motives for touch. We assessed general (Study 1) and daily (Study 2) approach and avoidance motives for touch and tested their precursors and consequences. Controlling for relationship quality and the other motive, greater attachment avoidance predicted lower a...
Article
Sexual well-being is an important contributor to romantic relationship quality, health, and quality of life, yet couples face significant disruptions to their sexuality during the transition to parenthood. While there is evidence of variability in the sexual well-being of new parents, distinct classes of dyadic trajectories have not been establishe...
Article
Despite the worldwide increase in single-person households, little research has examined what factors contribute to a satisfying single life. We used three data sets ( N = 3,890) to examine how satisfaction with sexual and social aspects of life are linked with single people’s perceptions of marriage and singlehood. Our results suggest that higher...
Article
Given the powerful implications of relationship quality for health and well-being, a central mission of relationship science is explaining why some romantic relationships thrive more than others. This large-scale project used machine learning (i.e., Random Forests) to 1) quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and 2) identi...
Article
Prosocial behavior is often thought to bring benefits to individuals and relationships. Do such benefits exist when prosocial behavior is costly for the individual, such as when people are sacrificing for their partner or relationship? Although different theoretical accounts would predict that sacrifice is either positively or negatively associated...
Article
While sexual frequency and satisfaction are strong contributors to the quality and longevity of romantic relationships and overall well-being, mismatches in sexual desire between partners are common and have been linked with poorer satisfaction. Previous findings linking mismatches in desire with poorer relationship and sexual outcomes have typical...
Article
In this prospective longitudinal study, we examined whether and how lack of intimacy or meaningful connection to a romantic partner (i.e., low social reward) and concerns over negative evaluation by the partner (i.e., high social threat) each predict dissolution of a relationship as well as adjustment when a breakup occurs. Our results showed that...
Article
With a growing body of relationship research relying on dyadic data (i.e., in which both members of a couple are participants), researchers have raised questions about whether such samples are representative of the population or unique in important ways. In this research, we used two large data sets (Study 1: n = 5,118; Study 2: n = 5,194) that inc...
Article
When is accurately reading other people’s emotions costly and when is it beneficial? We aimed to identify whether the association between empathic accuracy and both relationship quality and motivation to change varies depending on the type of emotion being detected: appeasement (e.g., embarrassment) or dominance (e.g., anger). Romantic partners (co...
Article
Maintaining sexual satisfaction is a critical, yet challenging, aspect of most romantic relationships. Although prior research has established that sexual communal strength (SCS)—i.e., the extent to which people are motivated to be responsive to their partner’s sexual needs—benefits romantic relationships, research has yet to identify factors that...
Article
Full-text available
When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples ( N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, fol...
Article
Self-expansion in intimate relationships (i.e., broadening one’s perspective through engaging in novel, exciting activities with a partner) has been associated with relationship benefits. The goal of this study was to propose a motivational model of self-expansion to understand what prompts people to engage in self-expanding activities in their rel...
Article
Research on adult attachment in romantic relationships has focused on the negative outcomes that avoidantly attached individuals face. The present research uses observational research methods to determine if there are specific ways of communicating affection that might help avoidantly attached people reap similar levels of rewards from affectionate...
Article
Romantic relationships help people meet needs for connection and emotional and sexual fulfillment. In the current research, we investigate an unexplored response to feeling sexually and relationally unfulfilled: reflecting on positive sexual experiences with past partners (or sexual nostalgia). Across three studies, people low in attachment avoidan...
Article
In most long-term romantic relationships, partners experience sexual conflicts of interest in which one partner declines the other partner's sexual advances. We investigated the distinct ways people reject a partner's advances (i.e., with reassuring, hostile, assertive, and deflecting behaviors) in Studies 1 and 2. Using cross-sectional (Study 3) a...
Article
People in close relationships often need to sacrifice their own preferences and goals for the partner or the relationship. But what are the consequences of such sacrifices for relationship partners? In this work we provide a systematic investigation of the consequences of sacrifice in romantic relationships, both for the person who gives up their g...
Article
Full-text available
The present research tests how socioeconomic inequality (within romantic relationships) predicts relationship quality and observable expressions of emotion—examining longitudinal self-report and behavioral data from both partners of romantic couples. In Part 1 we examined the romantic partners' self-reports of relationship quality at baseline and a...
Article
Sex is a crucial factor that impacts the quality and stability of relationships, yet many couples report recurrent sexual issues – such as discrepancies in their desired sexual frequency or levels of sexual desire – that detract from their relationship quality. This article describes how applying the theory of communal motivation from relationship...
Article
This study explored 2 key questions at the intersection of care, well-being, and development in romantic relationships. First, what are the links between unmitigated communion (i.e., being overinvolved with meeting a partner's needs to the exclusion of one's own needs) and both partners' relationship satisfaction over time? Second, are there gender...
Article
In seven studies ( n cross-sectional = 1,699, n longitudinal = 118), we developed a measure of relationship norm strength defined as qualities that make the rules and expectations in romantic couples more or less likely to be followed. In our six cross-sectional samples, the resulting Relationship Norm Strength Questionnaire (RNSQ) yielded consiste...
Article
There are many factors that may influence parenting, from societal norms and expectations, dispositional differences, experience and maturity, and availability of resources. In the current research, we examined how stable demographic characteristics associated with these different factors predict the goals parents pursue with their children. We exa...
Article
Attachment anxiety is a form of attachment insecurity characterized by chronic worries about rejection and need for reassurance. Given the critical role a sense of security plays in maintaining healthy relationships, individuals high in attachment anxiety tend to struggle in romantic relationships, which carries serious implications for their broad...
Article
Full-text available
Women coping with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) report lower sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to healthy controls. In community samples, high sexual communal strength (i.e., the motivation to meet a partner's sexual needs) is associated with higher sexual desire and satisfaction, but high unmitigated sexual communion...
Article
Full-text available
Fear of being single (FOBS) tends to predict settling for less when seeking a romantic partner. The present research sought to examine whether this is due, at least in part, to lower physical attractiveness among those who fear being single. In a photo-rating study (Study 1, N = 122) and a speed-dating study (Study 2, N = 171), participants complet...
Article
We examined tracking accuracy and bias (mean-level and projection) in people's perceptions of their romantic partner's relationship approach and avoidance motives, similarity in partners' motives, and positive and negative emotions as potential cues used to make judgments about a partner's daily motives and motives during shared activities. Using d...
Article
Sexual health reflects physical, emotional, mental, and social elements of sexual well-being. Researchers often position self-esteem (i.e., global or domain-specific evaluations of self) as a key correlate of sexual health. We present the first comprehensive meta-analysis of correlations between self-esteem and sexual health. Our synthesis includes...
Article
Full-text available
The present exploratory research examined the possibility that commitment in close relationships among lower class individuals, despite greater strains on those relationships, buffers them from poorer subjective well-being (SWB). In two samples of close relationship dyads, we found that when partners reported high commitment to the relationship, th...
Article
Full-text available
The present research used longitudinal methods to test whether pursuing sex with an ex-partner hinders breakup recovery. Participants completed a month-long daily diary immediately following a breakup, as well as a two-month follow-up (Study 1). Daily analyses revealed positive associations between trying to have sex with an ex-partner and emotiona...
Article
The aim of the current research was to identify the goals underlying parental care and how they are linked to parents’ sense of emotional well-being, relationship quality, and responsiveness to their child’s needs. We examined the link between parenting goals and outcomes through surveying parents cross-sectionally (Studies 1 to 3), in a 10-day dai...
Chapter
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Power in Close Relationships - edited by Christopher R. Agnew February 2019
Presentation
Full-text available
published: Cho, M., Impett, E. A., Campos, B., Chen, S., & Keltner, D. (2020). Socioeconomic inequality undermines relationship quality in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
Article
Five studies examined whether receiving gratitude expressions from a romantic partner can buffer insecurely attached individuals from experiencing low relationship satisfaction and commitment. In Study 1, the negative associations between attachment avoidance and both satisfaction and commitment were weaker among individuals who perceived that thei...
Article
In the early stages of romantic relationships, sexual desire is often intense, but over time, as partners get to know each other, desire tends to decline. Low sexual desire has negative implications for relationship satisfaction and maintenance. Self-expansion theory suggests that engaging in novel activities with a long-term romantic partner can r...
Article
Full-text available
The decision to end a romantic relationship can have a life-changing impact on the partner as well as the self. Research on close relationships has thus far focused on self-interested reasons why people choose to stay in their relationship versus leave. However, a growing body of research on decision-making and prosociality shows that when people m...
Article
A common reason why people in ongoing romantic relationships report engaging in sex with their partner—in addition to pursuing their own pleasure—is to meet their partner’s sexual needs. While meeting a partner’s needs with responsiveness and care is crucial in romantic relationships, it is important, especially in the domain of sexuality, that peo...
Preprint
Close relationships can be a source of positive subjective well-being for lower-class individuals, but stresses of lower-class environments tend to negatively impact those relationships. The present research demonstrates that a partner’s commitment in close relationships buffers against the negative impact of lower-class environments on relationshi...
Article
Consensually nonmonogamous (CNM) relationships allow individuals to fulfill their sexual needs with multiple partners, but research has yet to investigate how having one’s sexual needs met in one relationship is associated with satisfaction in another relationship. We draw on models of need fulfillment in CNM relationships and theories of sexual co...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic partners often have differing levels of sexual interest. In these situations, lower desire partners may engage in sex for avoidance goals (e.g., to avoid disappointing their partner), which are associated with negative relational outcomes. An alternative strategy to sustain relationship quality may be to decline a partner’s sexual advances...
Article
When avoidantly attached individuals are simultaneously high in attachment anxiety, they are inclined to experience strong internal conflicts between seeking and avoiding closeness. This research examined whether the extent to which closeness, assessed as the inclusion of other in the self (IOS), is associated with greater commitment varies within...
Preprint
The decision to end a romantic relationship can have a life-changing impact on the partner as well as the self. Research on close relationships has thus far focused on self-interested reasons why people choose to stay in their relationship versus leave. However, a growing body of research on decision-making and prosociality shows that when people m...
Article
Full-text available
Although gratitude plays a central role in the quality of relationships, little is known about how gratitude emerges, such as in response to partners' sacrifices. Do people need to accurately see these acts to feel grateful? In two daily experience studies of romantic couples (total N = 426), we used a quasi-signal detection paradigm to examine the...
Method
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This supplemental materials on predictors of sacrifice detection is supplemental to our article "To "see" is to feel grateful? A quasi-signal detection analysis of romantic partners' sacrifices", published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2018.
Preprint
In close relationships, people’s outcomes become highly intertwined, or interdependent, over time and across contexts (Clark & Mills 2011; Kelley & Thibaut 1978; Rusbult & Van Lange 2003). For example, young children rely on care from their parents as they grow and develop, and as they become older themselves, they often provide care and companions...
Article
Objective: To examine the role of a novel motivational perspective-sexual communal motivation-in women's pain during intercourse and both partners' distress in couples coping with vulvodynia, a prevalent gynecological pain condition. Our goal was to test whether sexual communal strength (i.e., motivation to meet a partner's sexual needs) and unmit...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual and relationship satisfaction tend to be closely linked in the context of romantic relationships. Understanding how sexual processes influence relationships and how aspects of the relationship influence a couple’s sex life can provide insight into the maintenance of sexual desire and satisfaction over time. In this article, we review how the...