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Partner self-control and intrusive behaviors: A gender-specific examination of the mediating role of trust


This research investigated the interplay between self-control, trust, and intrusive behaviors in heterosexual relationships. While past work mainly focused on actor self-control, we additionally considered the role of partner self-control in both men’s and women’s tendency to show intrusive behaviors. Specifically, we hypothesized that a lack of self-control in the partner elicits intrusive behaviors through low levels of trust in the partner. We collected data from 104 couples and 52 individuals (N = 260, Mage = 35.11, SDage = 10.77) via a crowd-working platform. Analysis using an Actor Partner Interdependence Mediation Model with a bootstrapping method showed that trust mediated the association between partner self-control and intrusive behaviors. Additionally, actor self-control had a marginal indirect effect on intrusive behaviors through trust. The results were consistent across both genders. This research revealed that low levels of either actor or partner self-control are risk factors for privacy invasion in romantic relationships.

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Correspondence to Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik.

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This study was approved by the Research Ethics Council of the University the first author is affiliated with (Approval number FASS-2018-25).

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We reported all measures and data exclusions on our project’s OSF page and provided information about our posteriori power analysis in the paper.

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Buyukcan-Tetik, A., Pronk, T.M. Partner self-control and intrusive behaviors: A gender-specific examination of the mediating role of trust. Curr Psychol (2021).

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  • Intrusive behaviors
  • Privacy
  • Self-control
  • Trust
  • Romantic relationships