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First published online February 20, 2014

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


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.

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Published In

Article first published online: February 20, 2014
Issue published: February 2015


  1. Active–constructive responding
  2. capitalization
  3. gratitude
  4. relationship satisfaction

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© The Author(s) 2014.
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Published online: February 20, 2014
Issue published: February 2015



Sarah Woods
Florida State University, USA
Nathaniel Lambert
Preston Brown
Florida State University, USA
Frank Fincham
Florida State University, USA
Ross May
Florida State University, USA


Nathaniel Lambert, Brigham Young University, 2065 JFSB, Provo, UT 84604, USA. Email: [email protected]

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This article was published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.


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