Free «Romantic Jealousy and Relational Satisfaction» Essay Sample

The author was geared towards writing on this topic due to the emotional and behavioral responses that are expressed by persons who report their perceived emotion intensity and their likelihood of their response in particular messages based on romantic jealousy expressions. The author understood the personal and social risks involved if one expresses jealous feelings in romantic relationships and thus a great urge to research and write. Jealous individuals often enact a varied array of behaviors in pursuit of accomplishing a wide variety of both personal and relation goals (Guerrero & Andersen, 1998b; Guerrero & Afifi, 1999). These negative emotions expressions such fear, anger and contempt in marriage more often than not tend to show that people divorce before they attain seven years together (Gottman & Levenson, 2000). This research thus tends to uncover the links that lie between initial jealousy expressions while targeting communicative and emotional responses. Reactions to partner jealousy expression are important for two reasons:  scholars (such as, Ellis & Weinstein,  1986)  suggest  that  jealousy  is  negotiated  in  all  close  partnerships;  and secondly, to understand a partners reaction where jealousy is concerned reduces competitiveness and improve communication. This study thus refers to jealousy emotions thatare negative and rumination based on probable consequences of spouse jealousy expression in relation to relational kind and jealousy expression type.

There are various hypotheses that arise from the emotional and behavioral responses to romantic jealousy expressions. The first hypothesis entails an individual’s intensity of negative jealousy-related emotion which differs with regards to the set relational context.

The second hypothesis predicts tools that a partner can use to necessitate distributive communication or negative affect expression that results to extra emotions that are related to negative jealousy that is to be used by the partner for integrative communication.

The third hypothesis states that expression of jealousy from an individual’s cross-sex friend will result in more expressions of in relation to rumination from a dating partner or an individuals sibling.

The fourth hypothesis thus posits that a person is more likely to be affected incase another respondent uses distributive communication to express jealousy.

The research question (RQ) involves studies of whether there is possible interaction between relationship type and jealousy expression type on either negative jealousy-related emotion or rumination?

Relational Jealousy Experience and Expression

This is the general  conceptualization  of  jealousy  as  a  professed  or the actual  threat  to  the exclusive life of a romantic bond (such as, White & Mullen, 1989) is limiting because it does not acknowledge the nonromatic jealousy across relationships (Bevan and Samter, 2004) This clearly shows the importance of the relationship to the jealous person.

There are three interactive jealous expression methods as spelt out by Guerrero, Andersen, Jorgensen, Spitzberg, and Eloy’s (1995) which works towards either engaging in or avoiding relevant jealousy communication with an individual’s partner. The first one is integrative communication which include, direct, jealousy communication with one’s partner which turn out to have non-aggressive expressions such as disclosure and reassurance. The second is the negative effect of expression: use of non verbal expressions like crying and appearing hurt and thirdly distributive communication: which lists direct and aggressive expression including arguments and sarcasm. There are three subsequent reasons for choosing these jealousy expressions: each is partner directed, secondly is that each  occurs accompanied by certain samples (Aylor and  Dainton, 2001; Bevan and Lannutti, 2002), hence connoting that a participant is likely to recall similar real—life circumstances and lastly each should elicit qualitatively different reactions.

Reactions to partner jealousy expression

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This is brought about by the response given by both the rival and the partner with regards to the partner’s reaction according to Guerrero and Andersen (1998).   Negative jealousy-related emotion and rumination are jealousy expression variables which are selected for three specific reasons. These are cognition and emotion (Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989), they are reactions to similar situations with regards to partner jealousy expressions which apparently includes conflict (Birditt and Fingerman, 2003) and relational transgressions (Rolof Soule and Carey, 2001).


Participants and Procedure

The participants (in total N ¼ 364, final record N ¼ 352) who took communication lessons particularly in the university responded in relation to one among the three questionnaire versions that was subsequently disturbed by unsystematic assignment.  Reeder (2000) describes collage students very appropriate to use as samples since they are youths who are very prone to cross-sex friendships (Dunn, 1985). A last sample included females who constituted 60%  and their ages  averaged  around 21  years  (SD ¼ 3.30,  range ¼ 18–57). The research was diversified with white participants being (89.2%), Black persons were (6.8%), Asian was (2.6%), in other included categories (.9%), the Native American were (.3%), and the Hispanic were (.3%). Participants’ relationships   averaged    almost in a length of nine   years  (SD ¼ 104.53,     range ¼ two weeks–684 months). Among the participants, 43.5% contacted their partners daily, 38.4% maintained weekly contact, 14.5% were in monthly contact 2.3% contacted their partners only several times a year where 9% were in contact with their partners only once a year.

Participants were nestled into different categories with questionnaires being randomly distributed to them. The instructions provided to the participants required them to consider their cross-sex friend, closest present dating partners or siblings closest in age to them (Bedford, 1989) or if participants lack full siblings, they thought step, half or adopted siblings instead. Participants were free to contact the principal investigator for different relational survey incase they were given questionnaires regarding affairs they were never involved.

Hypothesis one predicted that the negative jealousy-related emotion intensity show variation based on relational context. This tends to show assigning of contrast coefficients. (siblings are ¼ 1, the dating partners are ¼ 1, while cross-sex friends are¼2).  These results comes accompanied by a residual  of 1.07,   the comparison that was put into significant consideration was  (F   [2, 346] ¼ 25.30, p < .001, r ¼ .26). This was consistent with hypothesis one, as both the dating parents and siblings reported to have come across very intense jealousy expression  as compared  to cross-sex friends.

Hypothesis two was in support of the argument  that the use of distributive or rather negative affect expressions would tend to bring forth intense level of negative partner  jealousy in comparison to use of integrative communication by partners. The assigning of contrast coefficients then occurs where  (distributive ¼ 1, negative affect expression ¼ 1,    integrative ¼    There was a residual of 1.13, although the   planned    comparison      was found to be insignificant (F [2, 346] ¼ 3.88, p  > .05,  r ¼ .11).  These resulted to the data being inconsistence with the second hypothesis.

The third hypothesis stated that the most probable source of a partners cross-sex of  expression of jealousy is increased rumination when in comparison to either sibling or dating.  This was followed by assigning of contrast    coefficients to   (siblings which were ¼ 1,   dating partners were ¼ 1, while cross-sex friends were ¼ 2). With a residual of 1.48, the planned comparison was not significant (. The residual that was obtained was 1.48 leading to an insignificant (F [2, 346] ¼ 1.14, p  > .05, r ¼ .06) comparison and thus showing inconsistency in the third hypothesis data.

Hypothesis four was in support of the relation that results from a person’s great rumination when in comparison to either negative affect expression or distributive communication.

2. Communicative responses to jealousy as a function of self esteem and relationship maintenance goals: A test of Bryson's Dual Motivation Model. by Laura.K. Guerrero and Walid A. Afifi 1997-98

The Bryson’s dual motivation model   of jealousy, which predicts that self-esteem and relationship maintenance goals influence the variation of jealousy responses, is tested in this study. The authors were motivated to write about it after a questionnaire study found limited support for the model. Those who were motivated to maintain self-esteem reported   more   integrative   communication,   manipulation,   and   avoidance/denial.  Persons   motivated   to maintain   their   relationships   reported   more   integrative communication, compensatory restoration,   and negative   affect expression. Those who were motivated by only relational maintenance reported the most surveillance. A moderate to moderately high motivation to maintain the relationship   was   associated   with   the   most  distributive   communication and   active   distancing. These    findings indicate that self-esteem and relationship maintenance   goals are related to communicative responses to jealousy, but in more complex ways than Bryson's model suggests. Although jealousy experience posses a big threat, little research has investigated   how jealous individuals use communication to cope with threats to self-esteem   and the relationship. An exception   is Bryson's (1977, 1991)    dual    motivation     model.   Bryson (1977) argued that responses to jealousy are determined by two independent motivational   goals—self- esteem      maintenance and    relationship maintenance       (see   Figure     1).   He surmised that individuals   with   high concern     for   both   the   self and    the relationship      would     react   to   jealousy by using   communication (such    as negotiation   and positive forms of confrontation)   and trying to improve the relationship. Individuals with low concern for both these goals would react in a self-destructive manner by blaming themselves and withdrawing emotionally. Those who have a high concern for the relationship and a low concern for    self-esteem     are   likely   to   cling   to   their relationships   by emphasizing dependency   on the partner, or by trying to manage impressions by acting unaffected      (Bryson,   1991).

Finally, those  who  have  a low concern   for   the relationship coupled with a high concern for self-esteem   were predicted to use retribution   behaviors (such as trying to make the partner  feel jealous), engage   in   negative   behaviors   (such   as  aggression),   and/or   terminate   the relationship.

The hypothesis advanced at are based on the various predictions and possibilities that fall in the research work.

Hypothesis one states that individuals who generally  report using more integrative communication  strategies than others tend to be motivated to maintain both their relationships and their self esteem.

Hypothesis two states that individuals   motivated   to maintain   their   relationships   (regardless   of their   motivation   to maintain   self-esteem)   report   using   more   compensatory   restoration   strategies than   individuals who are unmotivated to maintain their relationships.

Hypothesis three supports the view that the individuals who report using more surveillance than others are those who are motivated to maintain their relationships but not to maintain their self esteem.

Hypothesis four states that individuals motivated to maintain their self-esteem but not to maintain their   relationships report using more (a) distributive communication, (b) active distancing, and (c) manipulation attempts than other individuals.

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The research question ( RQ) that comes up is whether individuals with different motivations to maintain their relationships   and/or  their self-esteem   differ  in   the  amount   of  avoidance/denial,   negative   affect  expression,   and rival contact they report using?


The method is inclusive of respondents and its instrumentation.


The respondents are represented by (A^= 266; female n= 170; male n=   96; age M=   23.5 years; age ranges between 18 to 70 years) were contacted through undergraduate courses at a large southwestern university (n=   212) or otherwise at the jury assembly room in the county courthouse in a southwestern        metropolitan area   (n=     54).  The researchers ensured that both groups of respondents complete questionnaires. The participating individuals were involved in ongoing romantic relationships and indicated that they could remember feeling jealous at least once in their relationship.


The questions relevant to the present   study were  part   of a larger set of questions addressing issues related to jealousy in romantic relationships ( Guerrero   & Afifi, 1997).  The   part   of   this   data   set   that   addresses   various communicative  responses to jealousy was also used  in Study 2 of a   3-study project     that   focused      on   conceptualizing        and    measuring       communication about   jealousy   ( Guerrero   et   al.,   1995).  Only   the   items   related   to   the present study are discussed here.

When considering motivations to maintain   self-esteem in relationship, two three-item scales were used to measure these goals. This section   of the   questionnaire began with the statement, "When I am jealous in my current relationship I am usually   concerned   about.   . ." Seven-point   Likert scales followed.  The items assessing the goal of self-esteem maintenance (Cronbach's a   =   .72) were: (1) maintaining self-esteem,   (2) keeping my pride, and (3) feeling   good   about myself despite the situation.  The items measuring   concern   for   relationship maintenance (a  =   .85)   were :   (1)   preserving   the   relationship,   (2)   holding onto my relationship and (3) keeping the relationship   going.  Communicative responses to jealousy, Guerrero et al.’s (1995) Communicative    Responses      to Jealousy     scale   were   utilized.   Inter-item    reliability   was sufficient    for   the  nine  subscales  used   in this study: Integrative           communication   (a   =  .84; e.g.,   "I explained   my feelings   to my  partner");          compensatory restoration      (a  =   .77;   e.g.,  "I   tried  to   be  more  attractive   than   the   rival"); surveillance      (a  =.79;  e.g.,   "I kept   closer   tabs   on   my   partner");    distributive communication          (a   =  .83; e.g.,   "I made   hurtful   or   abusive   comments   to   my partner"); active   distancing       (a   =   .83; "I gave my partner cold or dirty looks"); manipulation         attempts    (a  =   .70;  "I   tried   to   make   my   partner   feel  jealous too"); avoidance/denial           (a  =   .16; e.g.,   "I acted   like I didn't   care");  negative affect   expression     (a   =   .78; e.g.,  "I appeared  sad and depressed  in front   of my partner"); and   rival   contacts      (a   =  .73; "I.   Guerrero et al. (1995).

The predicted interaction in H1 did not emerge. Hypothesis 2 was supported and hence produced a significant effect for relationship maintenance. Hypothesis 3 happened to be supported with a significant interaction and hence and thus produced significant results. H4 was not supported and thus the ANOVA for distributive communication, self esteem maintenance, and active distancing failed to obtain significant interaction effect.

The research brings forth the knowledge that communication is used to fulfill goals that are relevant   to   the jealousy experience; individuals who do not possess these goals may not feel the need to communicate with their partners. When scrutinized as a whole,   these findings illustrate that   motivations   associated   with self-esteem     and   relationship   maintenance   have   small   but   significant       effects on    jealous   behavior.    Direct   forms of communication, such as integrative communication   and negative affect   expression, appear less likely if individuals are unmotivated to maintain either their self-esteem   or their   relationships. However,   the   small   effect    sizes   found   in   this   study   suggest   that   these two motivations alone do not account for substantial amounts of variance in most forms   of   jealous   behavior.   Other   goals,   such   as   uncertainty    reduction     and equity   restoration (Afifi   & Reichert,  1996;  Guerrero   & Andersen,   1998; Guerrero   et   al.,   1995), are  also  likely   to  affect   how   individuals   communicatively   respond     to   jealousy.   Future   research   in   this   area   will   help scholars understand       how    communicative responses to jealousy help   individuals accomplish both individual and relational goals.

3. Tickling the monster: jealousy induction in relationships by Amy Fleischmann, Brian Spitzberg, Peter Andersen and Scott Roesch 2004-05

The term jealousy refers to an intrinsically    relational     phenomenon         (Guerrero,      Eloy, Jorgensen,      &    Andersen,      1993).  Jealousy concerns person’s thoughts, their emotions and actions that apparently follow self-esteem's loss or threat (White, 1980). If there occurs any threat to a romantic relationship, romantic jealousy crops up (Guerrero and Anderson, 1998). If an individual attempts to safeguard a relationship in which the other person is already possessed, then jealousy and envy generate (Guerrero and Andersen, 1998).

Internally experienced jealousy is externally expressed. Despite the fact that one finds jealous in several forms, it often comes as a result of interaction among triggering event and predispositions (Pines, 1998). There are a number of emotions that the jealousy complex comprise of that includes fear, sadness and anger (Guerrero and Andersen, 1998). It is accompanied with a feeling of rejection, and anxiety (Peretti and Pudowski, 1997). Certain actions such as crying or acts of violence are among the external appearances of jealousy (Guerrero and Andersen, 1998).

Two research questions are brought forth by this research. The very first research question concerning jealousy-induction aims which generally appear infrequent, with every mark that falls below the scale’s midpoint. The phenomenon’s ambivalence is the most described aim. The common tactic draws the rival’s attention.

The second research question was concerned with sex impacts and jealous induction relationship status. Separate groups are recommended against small group in status variable relationship. The question concerning the relationship status includes casual involvement, exclusive involvement the engaged and other. The availability of only 23 respondents in the other category made it tobe discarded. There are some other differences that occurred in the case of the casually and the respondents who were exclusively involved. The respondents in casually for instance, had more revenge motives, aggression and higher outcome efficacy.

These are the methods, procedures and participants involved in the research.

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The anonymous surveys, includes a consent agreement which were distributed in communication classes in a public university and collected in the following class meeting. This sample comprised of 212 communication students who were all undergraduates with the age between 17years and 43 years having a median of 18 and an apparent mean of 20. The respondents happened to be 58% females while 42% were male. Those who considered themselves as dating casually were 37%, the exclusively dating were 46%,the engaged were 4%, the singles 10% while 1% were married. Blacks were 4%, Asians were 12%, 13% were Hispanic, Whites made up 66% while 5% comprised the other category. The persons who had a median of 2 and a mean of 3 happened to be involved in 0-25 romantic affairs since their high school education level.

Measures taken

The initial   review   of   the   jealousy   literature   indicated that there were only few measures that were available with regard to this model. An open ended survey comprising students from two introductory communications was taken. The given students were given introductory orientation and asked to consider the instances in which they attempted to make their partners jealous or their partners attempt to make them feel jealous. A series of questions were asked to the students such as, what one’s intentions were in trying to make their partner jealous, what type of behavior they used to make their partner jealous, what the partner’s response were when they noticed the attempt of making them jealous. Only thirty eight students in the whole lot provided responses that were usable in extracting potential items for measurement. The added items were then examined to redundancy reduction across the items for the purpose of improving representation across the construct, for the enhancement specificity that can avoid general objects, the syntactical and stylistic that develops consistency and lastly the conceptual assurance of the relevance to the respective module of the representation.

The questionnaires that were presented to them read that the study’s purpose was to create jealousy in a romantic partner. It is illustrated by this study that, jealousy induction is shown as a strategic process that is goal directed. There are two types of goals that are identified in this research namely, relational rewards and relational revenge which is the second type of goal. This model works towards achieving to guiding future research.

4. Toward a goal oriented approach for understanding communicative responses to jealousy. by Laura Guerrereo and Walid Afifi 5 Spitzberg, B. (1995)

This particular research focuses on the challenges faced by jealous people. Self-esteem threats as well as relationship are emphasized by jealousy conceptualizations. Jealousy was referred to as an emotional reaction stemming (Salovey and Rodin, 1989). White (1981) described jealousy as actions following threats (Laura K. Guerrero, 1994).

Based   on the predictions of this study various hypotheses come up with the inclusion of a research question.

HI:  Individuals   motivated   to maintain   both   their   relationships   and their   self-esteem report using more integrative communication   strategies than other individuals.

H2:  Individuals   motivated   to maintain   their   relationships   (regardless   of  their   motivation   to maintain   self-esteem)   report   using   more   compensatory   restoration   strategies  than   individuals who are unmotivated to maintain their relationships.

H3:  Individuals motivated to maintain their relationships but not to maintain their   self esteem report using more surveillance behavior than other   individuals.

H4 : Individuals motivated to maintain their self-esteem but not to maintain their   relationships report using more (a) distributive communication, (b) active distancing, and (c) manipulation attempts than other individuals.

RQl:  Do  individuals   with  different  motivations   to  maintain  their   relationships   and/or  their self-esteem   differ  in   the  amount   of  avoidance/denial,   negative   affect  expression,   and rival contact they report using?


Questionnaires were issued to two groups which were involved in the research. They indicated that at one time or the other when they were involved in relationships they felt jealous. Guerrero   & Afifi,(1997) lists questions related to jealousy in romantic relationships as spelt out in this research. Communicative responses to jealousy are addressed while conceptualizing and measuring communication concerned with jealousy (Guerrero et al., 1995). Although only the items related to the present study are discussed in this study. The set goals in this research are measured by two three-item scales of motivation for the maintenance of self esteem and the relationship.

Statistical Analysis

This research used statistical analysis where variables of self esteem and relationship maintenance are dichotomized using median splits. Bryson's   (1977, 1991) model categorizes people based on whether they have high versus low   motivations for   self-esteem     and    relationship     maintenance, we felt that dichotomizing these variables was appropriate. The ‘high’ group was for those who scored 4.5 or above on the self esteem maintenance while the ‘low’ group was for the individuals scoring under 4.5 in self esteem. Similarly, those scoring 4.7 or above on the relationship   maintenance scale   were   placed   in   the   "high"   relationship      maintenance group, whereas those scoring below   4.7 were placed   in the   "low" relationship maintenance group. This procedure produced a 2 x 2 design with 90 individuals in the high relationship maintenance/high self-esteem maintenance cell, 72 individuals in the high   relationship maintenance/low self-esteem maintenance cell, 39 individuals in   the low relationship maintenance/high self-esteem maintenance cell, and   65   individuals in the low    relationship maintenance/low self-esteem cell. Due to unequal cell sizes, the unique sums of squares method were used in the following   analysis.

In H1 the predicted interaction never emerged although, the significant main effects suggests that both motivations enhance likelihood of a person using integrative communication.

In H2 the predicted interactions were supported and a significant effect for the relationship maintenance was produced.

H3 hypothesis was supported with a significant interaction.

H4 hypothesis was not supported.  The three main ANOVA that it predicted failed to obtain a significant interaction effect.

The models that produce significant linear effects showed that motivation to maintain self-esteem is positively associated with integrative communication, distributive communication, active distancing, avoidance/denial and manipulation. The motivation of maintaining the relationship is positively associated with integrative communication, compensatory restoration surveillance, manipulation, avoidance/denial and negative effect expression.

6. Relevance of the studies

 Emotional and Behavioral Responses to Romantic jealousy Expressions by Stephen M. Yoshimira 2003-04

This study shows that dating partners appear to be in significantly regular contact and happened to be notably closer to each other than either cross-sex friends or siblings. It evaluates the fact that satisfaction levels do not in any way differ in relational context involving either cross-sex friends or siblings. The research also included the performance of an univariate ANOVAS for the purpose of making certain that no difference in emotion and levels of rumination arises regardless of  the cross-sex friend being a former romantic partner or not. The level of emotions are recorded not to change with regards to the status of cross-sex friends who had former romantic status.

Communicative responses to jealousy as a function of self esteem and relationship maintenance goals: A test of Bryson's Dual Motivation Model. by Laura.K. Guerrero and Walid A. Afifi 1997-98

Despite the significant variability that was connected with the scores on the study concerning maintenance of relationships, majority of the scores were found to cluster at the median. It thus places more respondents in the high maintenance group than the low relationship maintenance group. This study also show that about 70% of the individuals who were in the high self-esteem groups coincidentally fell in the high relationship maintenance group.

The research question in this study focuses on the effect brought about by relationship and self esteem maintenance goals and the probability of reporting denial, and negative exoppressions in terms of maintenance groups.

Tickling the monster: jealousy induction in relationships. by Amy Fleischmann, Brian Spitzberg, Peter Andersen and Scott Roesch 2004-05

This study shows the cautions of the interpretation of the model used despite its integrative benefits. The first caution is having the knowledge of the jealous management difference between North American collage students and the rest of the population.  There might be a difference also in the jealous management tactics of young persons aged 18 and much older individuals. The second element is that the research requires further studies to properly establish its validity in comparison with other relevant measures for the development of this study as illustrated in (Cayanus & Booth-Butter%uFB01eld, 2003). Thirdly, individual perception of both self and partner are clearly examined making it crucial in replicating the model in dyadic contexts. This shows that it takes more than the perspective of an individual for a relationship to be affected. Any future research is thus required to view this jealousy induction model in intact relationship.

Toward a goal oriented approach for understanding communicative responses to jealousy. by Laura Guerrereo and Walid Afifi 5 Spitzberg, B. (1995

Findings in this research illustrate that motivations associated with self-esteem and relationship maintenance have small but significant effects on jealous behavior. It challenges individuals to be motivated for the purpose of self esteem and their relationship since direct forms of communication such as integrative communication and negative effect less likely appear. It illustrates that self-esteem and relationship maintenance motivations alone can not account for substantial amounts of variance in most forms of jealous behavior. Future research in this area will help scholars understand how communicative responses to jealousy help individuals accomplish both individual and relational goals.

Kelly Walker Lowry, MS, Bethany J. Sallinen, and David M. Janicke, (2007). Self-Esteem in Pediatric Overweight Populations: Measurement of Self-Esteem: Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Oxford Press 32(10):1179-1195.

Due to various inconsistency in definition of self-esteem from various literature regarding the topic, there has also emerged discrepant in measurement of self esteem. Researchers have defined self-esteem as a global one-dimensional construct that describes an individual’s overall sense of self-worth and acceptance. Measurement of self esteem is commonly done using the Rosenburg self-esteem, where one dimensional questionnaire are briefly administered and used to measure self esteem. Other researchers have defined self-esteem to be multidimensional construct that includes unique multiple dimensions such as physical appearance, academics, behavioral and social) where each of the dimension has an impact depending on an individual’s perceived importance. Measures used included “Self Perception Profile for Children” used in Piers and Harris (1969).

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