Perceived Partner Humility Predicts Subjective Stress During Transition to Parenthood

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Abstract

Relational humility is defined as having an accurate view of the self, a modest social portrayal, and an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented rather than self-focused. In the current study, we sought to examine relational humility in relation to dyadic stress, hypothesizing relational humility would predict lower levels of perceived stress, ultimately affecting levels of dyadic coping. We assessed 69 couples 4 times in 21 months as they negotiated the transition to parenthood. Using a latent growth model, we found that higher levels of relational humility predicted lower levels of stress initially and over time. With its orientation toward benefiting others and generally desirable interactional style, relational humility is likely to promote more positive social support, which in turn is likely to reduce perceived stress. Thus, humility is an important factor in understanding dyadic stress and partners’ coping attempts among intimate partners.

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