Human affection exchange: VIII. Further evidence of the benefits of expressed affection

Kory Floyd, Jon A. Hess, Lisa A. Miczo, Kelby K. Halone, Alan C. Mikkelson, Kyle James Tusing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Affection exchange theory speaks to the benefits that affectionate communication elicits, not only when it is received but also when it is communicated to others. Previous research has provided evidence for the individual and relational benefits of having a high trait affection level, yet these benefits may partially be accounted for by the affectionate behavior one elicits from others by being affectionate in the first place. We addressed the validity of this alternative hypothesis in this project, first by re-analyzing data in which we compared correlations between trait affection level and various benefits with the same correlations after controlling for received affection. Next, in three studies involving a total sample of 1,144 people, we further investigated the benefits of expressed affection, both on its own and when received affection is covaried out. Results indicated that affection expressed to others is associated with numerous individual and relational benefits, including increased happiness and self esteem, decreased fear of intimacy and susceptibility to depression, and higher relationship satisfaction. Many of these effects are attenuated—and some are intensified—when affection received from others is held constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-303
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Affection
  • Affection Exchange Theory
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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