Date of Graduation

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Communication

Advisor

Lindsey S. Aloia

Committee Member

Ron Warren

Second Committee Member

Stephanie Schulte

Keywords

attachment, confidence, relational maintenance behaviors, relational uncertainty, romantic relationships, security, uncertainty reduction theory

Abstract

This study examined the influence of attachment and relational maintenance behaviors on relational uncertainty. Ninety individuals currently involved in romantic relationships completed measures assessing their attachment (i.e., secure, preoccupied, dismissive, fearful), relational uncertainties (i.e., self, partner, relationship), and relational maintenance behaviors (i.e., shared tasks, shared networks, positivity, openness, assurances). Findings demonstrated that both secure attachment and fearful attachment were not significantly associated with self, partner, or relationship uncertainty. In addition, dismissive attachment was negatively associated with partner uncertainty and positively associated with relationship uncertainty. Preoccupied attachment was positively associated with both partner and relationship uncertainty. Furthermore, secure attachment was positively associated with shared tasks, preoccupied attachment was negatively associated with shared tasks, and dismissive attachment was negatively associated with assurances. All other hypothesized relationships between attachment and relational maintenance behaviors were nonsignificant. Finally, results indicated minimal support for a statistical model in which relational maintenance behaviors mediated the associations between attachment and relational uncertainty.

Keywords: relational uncertainty, romantic relationships, attachment, relational maintenance behaviors

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