Perceiving autonomy support—or encouragement to be oneself—from a romantic partner or other close relationship partners has been shown to yield a variety of psychological health benefits, but it is less clear how perceiving autonomy support from partners is linked to physical health. In two studies we examine the associations between receiving autonomy support in romantic relationships and diastolic blood pressure, an important indicator of cardiovascular health. Results of a longitudinal study found support for a model in which autonomy supportive romantic relationships are linked with lower diastolic blood pressure. Whereas Study 1 showed general longitudinal effects, Study 2 revealed the importance of receiving autonomy support from partners during times of conflict. Implications of the findings will be discussed in the context of self-determination theory.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).
- Autonomy support
- Diastolic blood pressure
- Self-determination theory