Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How You and I Become We: Examining Partner, Family, and Friend Incorporation in Romantic Relationships
by Walsh, Christine O., Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2015, 150; 3686571
Abstract (Summary)

Studies have suggested that the people closest to us can influence how we view ourselves and can become incorporated into our own identity (e.g., Aron & Aron, 1996; Aron et al., 2005; Cross, Morris, & Gore, 2002). As a romantic partner becomes included more deeply in one's sense of self, however, an individual's friends and family might become less central to his or her sense of self (e.g., Kalmijn, 2003; Milardo, Johnson, & Huston, 1983). Few studies have longitudinally examined the interplay between the incorporation of romantic partners, family and friends into one's sense of self in romantic relationships over time, so the current study sought to address this. In a sample of 175 newlywed couples followed 4 times over 1.5 years and a second sample of 291 couples in romantic relationships followed 9 times over 2 years, participants reported on their levels of partner, family, and friend incorporation and on relationship quality. Analyses suggested that levels of partner incorporation increased over time and were significantly linked to concurrent and longitudinal relationship satisfaction. Further analyses on the interaction between partner and family/friend incorporation suggested that high levels of both partner and family/friend incorporation were optimal for relationship quality, but that family/friend incorporation could be detrimental to romantic relationships for individuals who did not also incorporate their romantic partners. The implications of these findings and potential avenues for future research will be discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rogge, Ronald D.
Commitee: Douthit, Kathryn, Reis, Harry T., Robertson Blackmore, Emma
School: University of Rochester
Department: School of Arts and Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Cognitive interdependence, Marriage, Relational interdependent self construal, Self expansion, Social networks, Structural interdependence
Publication Number: 3686571
ISBN: 978-1-321-63363-4
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