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The Relationship between Neural Responses to Rejection and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Romantic Relationships: a Dual EEG Acquisition Study

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The research question this thesis aims to answer is whether depressive symptoms of adolescents involved in romantic relationships are related to their rejection sensitivity. It was hypothesized that adolescents who have more rejection sensitivity, indicated by a bigger P3b response,

The research question this thesis aims to answer is whether depressive symptoms of adolescents involved in romantic relationships are related to their rejection sensitivity. It was hypothesized that adolescents who have more rejection sensitivity, indicated by a bigger P3b response, will have more depressive symptoms. This hypothesis was tested by having adolescent couples attend a lab session in which they played a Social Rejection Task while EEG data was being collected. Rejection sensitivity was measured using the activity of the P3b ERP at the Pz electrode. The P3b ERP was chosen to measure rejection sensitivity as it has been used before to measure rejection sensitivity in previous ostracism studies. Depressive symptoms were measured using the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D, Radloff, 1977). After running a multiple regression analysis, the results did not support the hypothesis; instead, the results showed no relationship between rejection sensitivity and depressive symptoms. The results are also contrary to similar literature which typically shows that the higher the rejection sensitivity, the greater the depressive symptoms.

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2015-05

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Ending a Relationship: The Variance in Breakup Factors Across an Age Continuum

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This study investigated reasons for romantic dissolution in 235 participants, ranging from 18-55 years of age, who had experienced a breakup in the past 12 months. Through an online survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk, participants were asked to briefly describe

This study investigated reasons for romantic dissolution in 235 participants, ranging from 18-55 years of age, who had experienced a breakup in the past 12 months. Through an online survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk, participants were asked to briefly describe their relationship, then rate how true a variety of statements were in regards to the characteristics of their relationship. Participants were then asked to rate how much each characteristic contributed as a reason for their breakup. Pairwise Pearson correlations were used to determine the variance in breakup factors with participant age. A significant positive correlation was found between age and participants attributing their breakup to a lack of intimacy, demonstrating that older participants were more likely to attribute their breakups to this factor. A marginally significant negative correlation was found between age and loss of independence as a reason for dissolution, showing that younger participants were more likely to attribute their breakup to losing their independence than were older participants. The correlation between age and participants' attributing breakups to a partner cheating was marginally significant, such that older participants were more likely to attribute their breakup to cheating than were younger participants. Due to the lack of significant correlations found between the 15 coded breakup factors and age, it was determined that age does not have a major effect on what factors may lead partners to end a romantic relationship.

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2018-05

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The Influence of Partnership Dance for Adult Romantic Couples on Intimacy, Trust, and Attachment Style

Description

Romantic relationship research has focused on various characteristics of individual and partner dynamics including intimacy and trust which are important aspects of relationship success. High levels of intimacy in relationships is associated with commitment, passion, psychosocial identity, and lower self-consciousness.

Romantic relationship research has focused on various characteristics of individual and partner dynamics including intimacy and trust which are important aspects of relationship success. High levels of intimacy in relationships is associated with commitment, passion, psychosocial identity, and lower self-consciousness. Similarly, trust involves the perception of stability and consistency in partner behavior that is in accordance with one’s best interests. Another aspect of romantic relationships that has been heavily researched is attachment style which has been shown to strongly influence how partners behave in relationships. Couples that face relationship challenges have been found to benefit from dance and movement therapy. Current research does not investigate the interactions of all of these facets of relationships and how they might be improved. Therefore, the present study strives to explore how established research on trust, intimacy, and attachment style can be used to improve relationships in the context of dance and movement. The experimental group consisted of 7 couples who participated in partnership dance lessons over the course of one month. The control group consisted of 9 couples who did not participate in the classes. We predicted that partnership dance classes would increase intimacy and trust in couples. We also investigated how attachment style might be implicated in this change. Results show a significant increase in intimacy for participants in the experimental group who participated in partnership dance classes. There was no significant increase in trust. While some participants did change attachment style throughout the study, the majority of participants retained their attachment style from the beginning of the study. Future research should focus on what types of dance are most beneficial for romantic couples, coding participant emotions during the dance class, and how the approach to teaching impacts participants’ experience.

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2021-12

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The Influence of Partnership Dance for Adult Romantic Couples on Intimacy, Trust, and Attachment Style

Description

Romantic relationship research has focused on various characteristics of individual and partner dynamics including intimacy and trust which are important aspects of relationship success. High levels of intimacy in relationships is associated with commitment, passion, psychosocial identity, and lower self-consciousness.

Romantic relationship research has focused on various characteristics of individual and partner dynamics including intimacy and trust which are important aspects of relationship success. High levels of intimacy in relationships is associated with commitment, passion, psychosocial identity, and lower self-consciousness. Similarly, trust involves the perception of stability and consistency in partner behavior that is in accordance with one’s best interests. Another aspect of romantic relationships that has been heavily researched is attachment style which has been shown to strongly influence how partners behave in relationships. Couples that face relationship challenges have been found to benefit from dance and movement therapy. Current research does not investigate the interactions of all of these facets of relationships and how they might be improved. Therefore, the present study strives to explore how established research on trust, intimacy, and attachment style can be used to improve relationships in the context of dance and movement. The experimental group consisted of 7 couples who participated in partnership dance lessons over the course of one month. The control group consisted of 9 couples who did not participate in the classes. We predicted that partnership dance classes would increase intimacy and trust in couples. We also investigated how attachment style might be implicated in this change. Results show a significant increase in intimacy for participants in the experimental group who participated in partnership dance classes. There was no significant increase in trust. While some participants did change attachment style throughout the study, the majority of participants retained their attachment style from the beginning of the study. Future research should focus on what types of dance are most beneficial for romantic couples, coding participant emotions during the dance class, and how the approach to teaching impacts participants’ experience.

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Date Created
2021-12

A Screenshot Is Worth a Thousand Words: Capturing Affective Behavior in Romantic Dyadic Digital Communication.

Description

Due to the prevalence of digital communication, the importance of digital communication for romantic relationship formation and maintenance, and the associations between online behavior and romantic conflict, it is important to investigate conflict enabled by and conducted through digital communication

Due to the prevalence of digital communication, the importance of digital communication for romantic relationship formation and maintenance, and the associations between online behavior and romantic conflict, it is important to investigate conflict enabled by and conducted through digital communication platforms. Additionally, because of the overrepresentation of self-report measures in studying online relational behavior, it is not known whether current methods of studying in-person conflict apply to digital conflict. The present study thus aimed to examine 1) the efficacy of participant-uploaded screenshots for observing online relationship experiences, and 2) the applicability of the adapted SPAFF coding system (D-SPAFF) to romantic dyadic digital communication. We found acceptable participant compliance and rich data was acquired using this method. We also found affective behavior in screenshots was related to similar concurrent and prospective relationship outcomes as found in the literature. Finally, there were a few unexpected affective behaviors related to relationship outcomes. Our study supports a nuanced theoretical framework for the investigation of online relationship interactions. Future research should continue to validate this method and investigate the unique affordances and mechanisms of digital interactions.

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2022-05

A Screenshot Is Worth a Thousand Words: Capturing Affective Behavior in Romantic Dyadic Digital Communication.

Description

Digital communication is increasingly prevalent in adolescent populations. Adolescents estimate that 50-60% of their relational communication occurs via text messaging (Coyne, Stockdale, Busby, Iverson, & Grant, 2011). With the increasing use of technology, conflict and relationship stressors are prevalent online.

Digital communication is increasingly prevalent in adolescent populations. Adolescents estimate that 50-60% of their relational communication occurs via text messaging (Coyne, Stockdale, Busby, Iverson, & Grant, 2011). With the increasing use of technology, conflict and relationship stressors are prevalent online. Social media and text messaging are associated with jealousy, monitoring behavior, and lower emotional support (Arikewuyo et al., 2020, Holtzman et al., 2017). These emerging trends make it critical for researchers to examine how technology can play a role in relationships.
Typically, researchers use questionnaires to see how participants interact in digital spaces. Self-reported methods are not ideal as they have limitations as participants may misrepresent themselves even if it is unintentional. To overcome these limitations, researchers have begun utilizing screenomics, a method in which photos of participants’ screens (screenshots) are taken every 3 seconds when the phone is in active use (Ram et al., 2020). However, these screenshots often lack context for digital interactions and result in large amounts data that may not capture specific events of interest to researchers (Ram et al., 2020). In-person dyadic communication can be studied through observational methods. The SPAFF (Specific Affect Coding System Manual) has been used to examine affectual behaviors because of it has high construct and criterion validity, effectively captures verbal and non-verbal behaviors, and associates discrete behaviors with latent psychological constructs (Coan & Gottman, 2007). It is important to understand if the measures used to study in-person behavior can be adapted to examine digital behavior in order to improve the quality of digital communication research.

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2022-05