UNDERSTANDING JEALOUSY IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS: LINKS TO ATTACHMENT, FACEBOOK INVOLVEMENT, AND RELATIONAL OUTCOMES

Rachel Elphinston (2010). UNDERSTANDING JEALOUSY IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS: LINKS TO ATTACHMENT, FACEBOOK INVOLVEMENT, AND RELATIONAL OUTCOMES PhD Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Rachel Elphinston
Thesis Title UNDERSTANDING JEALOUSY IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS: LINKS TO ATTACHMENT, FACEBOOK INVOLVEMENT, AND RELATIONAL OUTCOMES
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-09
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Em Prof Patricia Noller
Assoc Prof Judith Feeney
Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald
Total pages 149
Total black and white pages 149
Subjects 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract/Summary In the present thesis, I investigate romantic jealousy in an Australian context. Specifically, I address conceptual and measurement issues by first validating a multidimensional measure of romantic jealousy – the Multidimensional Jealousy Scale (MJS; Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989). There is a paucity of brief, well-validated and widely-used questionnaires measuring romantic jealousy that are also based on multidimensional conceptualisations. Further, although previous research has included the MJS as a measure of romantic jealousy, these studies often report modifications to its use (e.g., Afifi & Reichert, 1996; Guerrero, 1998). In the present thesis, I aimed to address this research gap by providing the first validation of the MJS since its original development. Accordingly, in Study 1, presented in Chapter 2, I present a study of individuals currently in romantic relationships across two independent samples. A principal components analysis (N = 199) and a confirmatory factor analysis were conducted (N = 127). I found evidence for a Short-Form MJS (SF-MJS) that comprised 17 items, which was also based on a three-dimensional factor structure: cognitive and emotional jealousy, and surveillance behaviours. Additional analyses between these three dimensions and measures of attachment anxiety, negative emotionality, and chronic jealousy also provided support for discriminant and concurrent validity. Descriptive statistics on the SF-MJS were also generated. In the present thesis, I also aimed to clarify the paths between romantic jealousy and outcomes, specifically, relationship dissatisfaction, given inconsistent previous findings (Barelds & Barelds-Dijkstra, 2007) and the importance and centrality of relationship dissatisfaction to the study of romantic relationships. In addition, I aimed to explore the links between emotional jealousy, cognitive jealousy, and surveillance behaviours using the SF-MJS in the context of attachment dimensions. I also suggested rumination as a potential mediator between jealous cognitions and surveillance behaviours and relationship dissatisfaction. In Study 2 presented in Chapter 3, I focus on a theoretical model, proposing links between insecure attachment dimensions, emotional and cognitive jealousy, and surveillance behaviours, rumination, and relationship dissatisfaction, again using individuals currently in romantic relationships (N = 199). I found that attachment anxiety was linked to emotional jealousy, which in turn was linked to cognitive jealousy and surveillance behaviours. Attachment anxiety and avoidance were also directly associated with cognitive jealousy, while only attachment anxiety was linked directly to surveillance behaviours. Both cognitive and surveillance behaviours were associated with relationship dissatisfaction via rumination; cognitive jealousy was directly related to dissatisfaction, while there was a trend for surveillance behaviours to be linked to relationship satisfaction. Further, emotional jealousy was directly associated with relationship satisfaction. In this study, I shed light on previous inconsistencies regarding the links between romantic jealousy and relationship outcomes, and discuss rumination as an important mediator in this link. I also consider the roles of emotional jealousy and surveillance behaviours, by highlighting directional links between emotional and cognitive jealousy, and surveillance behaviours. Finally, I aimed to contribute to the literature concerning social networking sites and addictions (boyd & Ellison, 2008; Brown, 1997), by investigating the links between romantic jealousy and relationship outcomes in the context of Facebook involvement. Previous research has highlighted the potential for Facebook use to be related to Facebook jealousy (Muise, Chistofides, & Desmarais, 2009) and the recent emergence of technological addictions to such media as mobile phones and the internet (e.g., Czubcz & Hechanova, 2010). In Study 3 presented in Chapter 4, I report another study of individuals currently in romantic relationships – this time focusing on Facebook as a backdrop, and its application to the study of actual reports of romantic jealousy (N = 305). Relationship dissatisfaction was again studied as a dependent variable, as well as a new outcome measure – stress symptoms. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on a measure of Facebook involvement, providing preliminary support for an 8-item Facebook Involvement Questionnaire. Further, in two separate analyses, actual experiences of romantic jealousy (cognitive jealousy and surveillance behaviours) fully mediated the link between high Facebook involvement and both relationship dissatisfaction and stress symptoms. These results emphasise the ongoing need to understand the concept of Facebook involvement, its potential determinants, in addition to the implications for individual and couple therapy. Overall, the research presented in the current thesis demonstrates the usefulness of conceptualising and measuring romantic jealousy from a multidimensional perspective. In addition, the present thesis highlights the dark side of experiencing jealousy in romantic relationships, particularly if individuals experience jealous thoughts and possess ruminative tendencies. The present research also raises serious concerns about the extent to which individuals in romantic relationships may be becoming highly involved with Facebook and suggests that the negative implications for all members of Facebook and their relationships have the potential to be widespread. In addition to the theoretical and assessment contributions offered within the thesis, practical implications and future directions are discussed.
Keyword Romantic jealousy
Measurement of jealousy
attachment theory
Rumination
relationship satisfaction
Facebook
Online social networking

 
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Created: Mon, 28 Feb 2011, 08:59:34 EST by Ms Rachel Elphinston on behalf of Library - Information Access Service