Tripartite Commitment and Relationship Quality: A Person-Centered Approach

Xiaomin Li, Mi Kyoung Jin, Shannon Corkery, Melissa Curran

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We examined the relations between tripartite commitment—personal (want to stay in relationship), moral (ought to stay in relationship; internal constraints) and structural (have to stay in relationship; external constraints)—and various constructs of relationship quality (i.e., conflict, ambivalence, maintenance, and satisfaction) in a sample of 717 individuals in predominately heterosexual relationships. Using latent profile analysis (LPA), results showed four subgroups for tripartite commitment—Lower Tripartite Commitment, Higher Tripartite Commitment, Higher Moral and Structural Commitment, Personal Commitment Driven—with robust patterns emerging in associations with relationship quality. Individuals in the profile of Lower Tripartite Commitment (lowest levels of personal commitment) experienced more ambivalence and less maintenance and satisfaction versus individuals in the three other profiles. In comparison, individuals in the profiles of Higher Tripartite Commitment and Personal Commitment Driven experienced higher maintenance and satisfaction and lower conflict and ambivalence than individuals in the two other profiles. We discuss the value of using person-centered analyses in supporting the continued importance of personal commitment. We also discuss the value added by additional consideration of moral and structural commitment in the understanding of relationship quality for individuals in romantic relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-88
Number of pages26
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • latent profile analysis
  • moral commitment
  • personal commitment
  • relationship quality
  • structural commitment
  • tripartite commitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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