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<p>Acts of compassion both raise the giver’s positive affect because they feel like a valuable presence in others’ lives (Singer & Klimecki, 2014), and they increase the feelings of closeness between the giver and receiver (Mongrain, Chin, & Shapira, 2010). However, we know little about the contexts of daily married life that trigger these acts. In this naturalistic, multi-method study, 30 married couples were filmed in their homes and communities across four days and all instances of spontaneous compassion expressions were identified. We developed a video coding scheme to reliably detect the characteristics of the compassion giver and receiver as well as the contexts in which these compassion moments take place. By gaining a clearer picture of marital compassion in daily life, we can implement aspects of these positive interactions into interventions to help improve the mental health and relationships of individuals in both maladaptive and stable home environments. We can also further explore how these interactions between the marital couple could positively affect others in the home, such as their children.</p>
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