Human affection exchange: VII. Affectionate communication in the sibling/spouse/sibling‐in‐law triad

Kory Floyd, Mary Claire Morr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This study sought to investigate affectionate communication among members of sibHng/spouse/sibling‐in‐law triads as well as the influence of such communication on relational quality. Under the principles of Affectionate Exchange Theory, affectionate communication among these family members may ultimately serve the evolutionary mandates of viability and procreation. Three hundred twenty‐seven participants, comprising 109 sibling/spouse/sibling‐in‐law triads, completed surveys about their communication of affection, relational satisfaction, and closeness. Consistent with predictions, spouses reported communicating more affection to each other than did siblings, who reported communicating more affection than siblings‐in‐law. The communication of affection by spouses and siblings showed a significant correlation, as did the communication of affection by siblings and siblings‐in‐law, and these correlations were significant even when controlling for the affection communicated in the third relationship in the triad (except for nonverbal support communicated in the sibling and marital relationships). Finally, for all three relational types, affectionate communication was positively correlated with both relational satisfaction and closeness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Affection
  • Affection exchange theory
  • Marriage
  • Siblings
  • Siblings‐in‐law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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