Role of Companionship for Relationship and Health Outcomes: Evidence From two Daily Dyadic Studies


  • G. Stadler
  • M. Riccio
  • U. Scholz
  • S. Ochsner
  • N. Knoll
  • R. Hornung


Background: Positive social interactions include companionship (i.e., pleasurable social interaction; Buunk & Verhoeven, 1991; Fischer, 1982; Rook, 1987) and social support. Despite evidence for independent contributions of both constructs to relationship and health outcomes, social support has been studied extensively while companionship has received far less attention. We provide evidence from two dyadic longitudinal studies for the important role of companionship. Methods: Both partners of committed couples (Study 1: N = 90, Study 2: N = 99) filled out daily diaries for one month. Findings: In both studies, companionate activities and support receipt occurred frequently. Daily fluctuations in companionship and support made independent contributions toward explaining emotional well-being and relationship satisfaction. In Study 2, companionship was also related to health behavior change. Discussion: The findings underscore the need for studying the links between companionship as well as support to relationship and health outcomes.