Pychology research - Factors that affect long interpersonal relationships

Essay by holdenandpieUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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Factors that Affect Long Interpersonal Relationships

Long-term interpersonal relationships and the factors that keep couples together has been

a topic in research that reminds us how these factors come into play as the length of the

relationship increases. Rusbult (1983) offered three factors that affect long-term relationships.

The first factor was satisfaction, depending on if the individuals in relationship were satisfied (e.g.,

happy) or dissatisfied (e.g., unhappy) with their relationship it would lead to how long their

relationship lasted. The second factor was lack of alternatives, if the individuals felt that they had

no alternatives to the present relationship (e.g., no other person to have a relationship with) or if

they did have alternatives this would affect how long the relationship lasted. The third factor was

investment of resources, depending on how much the individuals put into the relationship (e.g.

money, time, and effort) that would depend on how long the relationship persisted.

Arriaga and

Agnew (2001) believed that Rusbult's three factors dealt with how long relationships last but they

believed that there was a fourth factor that affected long-term relationships. The factor was

Psychological Commitment. This factor had three components, which are psychological

attachment, long-term orientation and intent to persist. Arriaga and Agnew 's model shares

similarities with Rusbult's three factors. According to Arriaga and Agnew, Rusbult's three factors

affect stability indirectly by affecting commitment.

The purpose of the current study was to test Arriaga and Agnew's (2001) model. We had

four hypotheses in our study. The first hypothesis was stability would be positively correlated with

commitment. The second hypothesis was commitment would be positively correlated with

satisfaction. The third hypothesis was commitment would be positively correlated with

Factors that Affect 4

investment. Finally, the fourth hypothesis was commitment would be negatively correlated with

availability of alternatives. In...