Hurt feelings in couple relationships: Exploring the role of attachment and perceptions of personal injury

Feeney, Judith A. (2005) Hurt feelings in couple relationships: Exploring the role of attachment and perceptions of personal injury. Personal Relationships, 12 2: 253-271. doi:10.1111/j.1350-4126.2005.00114.x


Author Feeney, Judith A.
Title Hurt feelings in couple relationships: Exploring the role of attachment and perceptions of personal injury
Journal name Personal Relationships   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1350-4126
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1350-4126.2005.00114.x
Volume 12
Issue 2
Start page 253
End page 271
Total pages 19
Editor Susan Sprecher
Place of publication USA
Publisher Blackwell
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
380100 Psychology
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
Abstract This research program focused on perceptions of the appraisals and emotions involved in hurtful events in couple relationships. Study I tested the broad proposition that hurt feelings are elicited by relational transgressions that generally imply relational devaluation and that evoke a sense of personal injury by threatening positive mental models of self and/or others. Participants (N = 224) provided retrospective accounts of an experience of being hurt by a romantic partner. These accounts, together with expert judges' ratings, showed that most hurtful events involved relational transgressions that signal both relational devaluation and threat to positive mental models; however, relational devaluation was relatively unimportant in explaining the hurt associated with partners' distrust. A sense of injury emerged as the dominant theme in open-ended accounts of emotional reactions; however, other negative emotions also featured and were related to the type of event reported. The emotion terms generated in Study I were used as stimuli in a word-sorting task (Study 2). This study confirmed that many of the terms were perceived specifically as injury related, and shed further light on the link between appraisals and emotions. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Keyword Psychology, Social
Rejection
Models
Self
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:35:57 EST