Interpersonal resilience in romantic relationships
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The purpose of this research was to examine the characteristics of interaction in romantic relationships that enable partners to effectively deal with significant stressors to their relationship. These characteristics were identified through the development of a measure of interpersonal resilience in romantic relationships. The dissertation consisted of three phases: Phase one solicited from communication experts their perceptions of the communication characteristics that encourage resilient patterns of stress management in romantic relationships. This feedback was evaluated and organized into categories. Phase two sought to identify underlying dimensions of the categories, and to statistically validate the most important characteristics of communication contributing to resilient outcomes. Communication experts were asked to rate forty items addressing the various categories of communication characteristics generated in part one. Their data were factor analyzed, and reduced to a list of twenty-eight items that made up the initial Interpersonal Resilience in Romantic Relationships (IR3) measure. The final part of the this research, phase three, validated the role that IR3 dimensions play mediating the effects of a significant stressor, in this case job loss, on relationship outcomes of quality, satisfaction, and commitment.