Relationship Maintenance - Equity Theory


Relationship Maintenance - Equity Theory


  • Canary and Stafford devised relationship maintenance strategies measure (RMSM) to assess degrees of equity within relationships. They found  a link between degree of perceived equity and prevalence of maintenance strategies. Implying equitable relationships are maintained.
  • Dainton studied 219 people in relationships and found that those in relationships with inequity had low relationship satisfaction scores. However were motivated to return to an equitable state to maintain the relationship.


  • Kelly and Thibaut proposed interdependence theory that suggests not all interactions reflect a desire for equity. Intimate relationships are complex and motives can clash, which could result in aggression.
  • Mills and Clark believe it is not possible to assess equity in loving relationships as input is emotional so unquantifiable and by doing so diminishes the quality of love.


Canary and Stafford and Dainton are supportive of equity theory as they both suggest an equitable state is needed to maintain a relationship. However relationships can't be looked at in this simple light as love is an emotion which can't be measured also relationships are more complex than equitable states. 


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