Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Mark Whisman


Social anxiety disorder is a common mental health problem that affects many individuals and may impact and be impacted by the presence and quality of interpersonal relationships. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between social anxiety and (a) intimate relationship status, and (b) positive and negative aspects of intimate relationship quality. Logistic and regression analyses were conducted in a probability sample of adults in the United States (N= 640). The findings on relationship status suggest that individuals who had never been married reported higher levels of social anxiety than individuals who were or had been married sometime in the past. Additionally, the findings on partner support (i.e., positive relationship quality) and partner strain (i.e., negative relationship quality) suggest that social anxiety was associated with the interaction between partner support and strain, such the lowest levels of social anxiety were reported by individuals with higher support and lower strain. The findings regarding relationship quality underscore the utility of separating relationship quality into positive and negative dimensions, as doing so may provide additional information that cannot be gained from measuring relationship quality on a single continuum. Overall, the results support continued investigation in the association between intimate relationship functioning and social anxiety.

Available for download on Saturday, April 10, 2021