Motivation and Emotion

, 33:184 | Cite as

The unique contributions of motivations to maintain a relationship and motivations toward relational activities to relationship well-being

  • Graham S. Gaine
  • Jennifer G. La Guardia
Original Paper


People experience autonomy when they perceive their behaviour to be volitional rather than driven by external controls. Previous research has studied autonomy in relationships at a general level, focusing on people’s motivations to maintain their romantic relationships, as measured by the Couple Motivation Questionnaire (CMQ; Blais et al., J Personal Soc Psychol 59:1021–1031, 1990). To supplement the CMQ, we developed the Motivations for Relational Activities (MRA) scale, which assesses the extent to which people feel autonomous and controlled in a variety of specific relational activities. The purpose of this study is to examine the unique contributions of general motivations to maintain a relationship (CMQ) and motivations toward specific relational activities (MRA) in the prediction of relationship well-being. Results showed that the MRA and CMQ both independently and significantly contributed to the prediction of relationship well-being (i.e., commitment, intimacy, satisfaction, and vitality within the relationship) and were differentiated by their associations to dimensions of personality and attachment.


Self-determination theory Romantic relationships Motivation Emotion Relative autonomy Autonomy Relationship satisfaction Intrinsic motivation Extrinsic motivation Self-regulation Attachment Personality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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