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The Association of Embracing with Daily Mood and General Life Satisfaction

Publication year 2022
Published in Journal of nonverbal behavior
Authors J. Packheiser, Imke Marlene Malek, Jacqueline Sophia Reichart, Laura Katona, Maike Luhmann, Sebastian Ocklenburg

Embracing has several positive health effects, such as lowering blood pressure and decreasing infection risk. However, its association with general life satisfaction and daily mood has not been researched in detail. Here, we used a smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment (EMA) approach to monitor the daily number of embraces and daily mood in a sample of 94 adults over the course of seven days. We found that embracing frequency differed slightly over the week, with embracing occurring more frequently on weekends than on weekdays. We also found that higher daily embracing frequencies were associated with better daily mood using multilevel modeling. Only singles benefitted from increases in average embracing regarding their life satisfaction, whereas individuals in a relationship were unaffected by their embracing tendencies. Although our results are strictly correlational and do not indicate any direction or causality, embraces may be important for daily mood and general life satisfaction, but their efficacy seems to depend on relationship status.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10919-022-00411-8.

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