For you and for me: harvesting the benefits of prosocial spending in romantic relationships

Sisi Li, Jacky Chi Kit Ng, Chin Ming Hui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This dyadic diary study explored how romantic partners benefit from prosocial spending within their relationships. For each of 21 days, couple members indicated whether they spent money on their partner and, if yes, reported the amount of money spent and the type(s) of purchase involved. Participants also completed daily measures of perceived partner responsiveness, and personal and relational well-being. Actor-partner interdependence model analyses showed that (a) the actor’s daily personal and relational well-being were associated with both the actor’s and the partner’s prosocial spending; (b) the actor’s perception of partner’s responsiveness mediated the effect of the partner’s prosocial spending on the actor’s well-being; and (c) experiential purchase (viz., food and other experiences) was associated with both parties’ relational well-being, but material purchase (viz., necessities) was not. Additional analyses suggested that (d) individual differences in prosocial concerns (viz., socioeconomic status and communal motivation) were associated with prosocial spending on one’s partner. (150 words).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • communal motivation
  • materialism
  • Prosocial spending
  • romantic relationships
  • socioeconomic status
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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