A typological description of premarital relationship dissolution Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8w32r780t

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  • The purpose of the present study was to describe the process of premarital relationship dissolution. This description entailed typologizing relationships on the basis of their trajectories to involvement and eventual dissolution. One hundred individuals who had been involved in a serious relationship that had broken up within the past 12 months were interviewed. This 90-minute face-to-face interview consisted of three parts. First, the relationship was graphed out on a "chance of marriage" graph, in order to form a trajectory of the relationship. Second, the participant completed a series of measures that assessed the relationship dimensions of love, maintenance, ambivalence, conflict, reward level, comparison level, comparison level for alternatives, and satisfaction. Third, the participant described the breakup of the relationship in greater detail. Five types of serious relationships that had dissolved were identified through the use of cluster analysis. Accelerated relationships were characterized by rapid involvement over a short period of time, rapid dissolution, and a low level of turbulence in the relationship. Low-level relationships were lowest in level of involvement; they developed at a slow pace. These relationships dissolved quickly and contained little turbulence. Moderate relationships developed and dissolved at a moderate-to-slow pace and reached an intermediate level of involvement with little turbulence. Prolonged-turbulent relationships were characterized by a high level of turbulence and a high involvement level. These relationships developed at a moderate pace and dissolved quickly. Prolonged-smooth relationships were the longest relationships. These relationships were characterized by a slow, nonturbulent development and a slow dissolution. After the types were identified, they were further differen tiated on the basis of the relationship dimensions. There were significant differences by type on the dimensions of love, conflict, and comparison level for alternatives. In addition, there were differences as a function of who initiated the breakup on the dimensions of ambivalence and comparison level for alternatives. Finally, there were significant differences by gender on the dimensions of ambivalence, maintenance, rewards, and satisfaction.
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