“I’m so excited for you!” How an enthusiastic responding intervention enhances close relationships

Sarah Woods, Nathaniel Lambert, Preston Brown, Frank Fincham, Ross May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The positive impact of active–constructive responding (i.e., showing enthusiasm) to the sharing of good news (i.e., capitalization attempts) on relationship well-being is well documented. The objective of this research was to determine whether individuals in a close relationship benefit from training to increase active–constructive responding to partner capitalization attempts and to document its impact on relationship well-being. Compared with a joint activity control group, individuals who received training in providing active–constructive responses perceived a greater amount of gratitude from their study partner and perceived their study partner as having greater relationship satisfaction; however, there were no significant differences in reported relationship satisfaction or gratitude expression. Gratitude receipt from a study partner mediated the relationship between experimental condition and perceived study partner relationship satisfaction. These results are discussed in terms of their potential impact on interventions and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 22 2015


  • Active–constructive responding
  • capitalization
  • gratitude
  • relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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