Your goals or mine? Women’s personal and vicarious eating regulation goals and their partners’ perceptions of support, well-being, and relationship quality

Abstract

This research examined the types of eating regulation goals that women have for themselves as well as for their romantic partner, and how these relate to their interpersonal style toward their partner, and to their partner’s psychological and relational well-being. Participants were 131 heterosexual couples. Results show that the eating regulation goals that women have for their partner (health or appearance oriented) reflect the type of goals that they personally pursue. Furthermore, women who have health-focused eating goals for their partner are perceived as more autonomy-supportive, which is associated with the partner’s report of higher relationship quality. Conversely, women who have appearance-focused eating goals for their partner are more likely to be perceived as controlling, which negatively predicts the partner’s psychological and relational well-being. These results attest to the importance of considering women’s personal eating regulation goals for a better understanding of the type of goals they have for their partners and how these relate to their partners’ well-being and relationship quality.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Since the data collected in this study are from only heterosexual couples, we use language associated with such couples throughout the paper, referring to women and their male partners.

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Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by a grant from the “Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Société et Culture” (FRQSC). The authors express their gratitude to the participants for their involvement in the study.

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Correspondence to Noémie Carbonneau.

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Carbonneau, N., Milyavskaya, M. Your goals or mine? Women’s personal and vicarious eating regulation goals and their partners’ perceptions of support, well-being, and relationship quality. Motiv Emot 41, 465–477 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-017-9623-9

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Keywords

  • Eating regulation goals
  • Autonomy support
  • Controlling interpersonal style
  • Couples
  • Well-being