Answering the ethical call of the other: A test of the Strong Relationality Model of Relationship Flourishing

Nathan D. Wood, Stephen T. Fife, Kenneth J. Parnell, D. Bruce Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The philosophical framework of strong relationality has gained greater attention in scholarship and yet empirically testing models built on this important framework are rare. The present study tests predictions made by the Strong Relationality Model of Relationship Flourishing (SRM), which centers on the role of Ethical Responsiveness for relationship health. In doing so, we introduce common fate modeling as a methodological approach for strong relationality research. We used longitudinal data from 1512 couples collected as part of the German longitudinal panel study of families. Results support the Strong Relationality Model's prediction that Ethical Responsiveness (as measured by perceived partner support) positively alters the impact of stress on Gratitude-Recognition (elements of the Responsible Action domain of the SRM), which then increases couples' intimacy (an element of the Relational-Connectivity domain of the SRM). Recommendations for clinical assessment and intervention are given as well as recommendations for future research on the Strong Relationality Model.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article uses data from the German Family Panel (pairfam), coordinated by Josef Brüderl, Sonja Drobnič, Karsten Hank, Franz J. Neyer, and Sabine Walper. Pairfam is funded as a long‐term project by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.


  • classical
  • couples
  • MFT as a profession
  • populations
  • practice development
  • professional/practice issues
  • theory/model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Answering the ethical call of the other: A test of the Strong Relationality Model of Relationship Flourishing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this