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Examining Responses to Social Network Disapproval of one’s Romantic Relationship

Sigler, Kirby (2023) Examining Responses to Social Network Disapproval of one’s Romantic Relationship. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Social network approval of ones’ romantic relationship positively predicts relational satisfaction, commitment, and stability (Sprecher, 2011). Thus, social network disapproval of one’s romantic relationship may be a potent threat that people must skillfully navigate to maintain their relationships with network members and their romantic partner. I sought to develop a taxonomy of behavioral responses to social network disapproval of one’s romantic relationship and to uncover whether commitment to one’s relationship with the disapproving network member or with the partner predicts these behaviors. In Study 1 (N = 191) using exploratory factor analysis, and in Study 2 (N = 318) using confirmatory factor analysis, I identified six behavioral response categories to social network disapproval of one’s romantic relationship, based on romantically involved participants’ reports (distance from partner, draw closer to partner, distance from disapprover; elude the disapproval, address disapproval, and ignore the disapproval). In Study 3 (N = 389), I experimentally manipulated perceptions of a social network member’s disapproval of one’s romantic relationship in a hypothetical scenario and examined effects of this disapproval manipulation on participants’ reports of their likelihood of engaging in each of the aforementioned behavioral responses (and one new response: draw closer to partner). I found that disapproval (vs. a control condition) impacted endorsement of all seven behavioral responses. Additionally, across all three studies, I found that romantic relationship commitment (and commitment to the disapproving network member in Studies 2 and 3) predicted participants’ endorsement of different behavioral responses. To my knowledge, this work is the first to consider how people behaviorally navigate the potent relationship threat of social network disapproval of one’s romantic relationship. My findings lay the foundation for future work examining the antecedents and consequences of responses to social network disapproval of romantic relationships.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sigler, Kirbykis64@pitt.edukis64
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorForest,
Committee MemberSchumann,
Committee MemberBinning,
Date: 4 April 2023
Defense Date: 27 March 2023
Approval Date: 16 May 2023
Submission Date: 6 April 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 124
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Close relationships, Relationship threats, Social network disapproval
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 14:40
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 14:40

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  • Examining Responses to Social Network Disapproval of one’s Romantic Relationship. (deposited 16 May 2023 14:40) [Currently Displayed]


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