Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Committee Member

Tara G. McManus

Second Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Third Committee Member

Erika Engstrom

Fourth Committee Member

Olesya Venger

Number of Pages

108

Abstract

Are we friends, dating partners, significant others, or who are we? To answer this question, the study examined transitions into an impactful romantic relationship using relational turbulence theory (RTT). The goal of this thesis was to investigate communicative behaviors during romantic relationship transitions in association to relational uncertainty and relational satisfaction. Using axial and emergent coding, lay individuals’ definition of the impactful romantic relationship was derived and several types of transitions (most commonly, acquaintances to romantic partners and acquaintances through friends to romantic partners) were identified. Regression analyses revealed the support for half of the theory-driven hypotheses. Taking into consideration all key findings both practical and theoretical implications were derived while addressing future directions and limitations of the study.

Keywords

college students; impactful romantic relationship; relational turbulence theory; satisfaction; transition; uncertainty

Disciplines

Communication

Language

English


Included in

Communication Commons

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