Relational sacrifices in romantic relationships: Satisfaction and the moderating role of attachment

Erin K. Ruppel, Melissa A. Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Using interdependence and attachment theories, we examined the influence of attachment orientations on the association between relational sacrifices and relationship satisfaction. Romantic partners (N = 332) completed a one-time measure of attachment orientations and daily measures of relationship satisfaction and number and difficulty of relational sacrifices over 4-10 days. Difficulty of own and partner's sacrifices was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction, and own daily number of sacrifices was positively associated with relationship satisfaction. However, these associations were stronger for individuals lower in attachment anxiety (for own sacrifices) or avoidance (for partner's sacrifices). The findings suggest that associations between relational sacrifice and relationship satisfaction are contingent on attachment orientations and that frequent, easy sacrifices might be most beneficial to relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-529
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • attachment
  • interdependence theory
  • relational sacrifice
  • relationship satisfaction
  • romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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