Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Mark Whisman

Abstract

Relationship satisfaction has been associated with a variety of outcomes, including mental and physical health, suicide risk, and mortality. The present study investigated the association between the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral activation system (BAS), positive and negative partner behavior, and relationship satisfaction. A sample of 113 married participants completed an online self-report survey. Two validated measures of positive and negative partner behavior were combined to create positive and negative composite variables. The positive partner behavior composite variable was positively associated with relationship satisfaction and the negative partner behavior composite variable was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction. BIS was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction, and BAS Drive and Reward Responsiveness were positively associated with relationship satisfaction. BAS Fun Seeking moderated the association between the positive partner behavior composite and relationship satisfaction: the strength of the association between the positive partner behavior composite and relationship satisfaction increased at higher levels of BAS Fun Seeking. The results suggest that BAS Fun Seeking is particularly sensitive to positive partner behavior. Results support the importance of integrating individual and relationship factors in future research on intimate relationship functioning.

Available for download on Saturday, April 10, 2021

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