Title

It’s Not You, It’s Me: Self-Esteem and Duration/Intensity of Distress After a Romantic Break-up

Presenter Information

Alexandria SmithFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Gender and Diversity Studies

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Sean Rife

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Romantic relationships are one of the most common sources of stress and anxiety. Much research has been conducted on factors that affect romantic relationships such as relationship attachment style (Pistole, 1989) and self-concept (Slotter, Gardner, & Finkel, 2009). Most research focuses on how these factors influence the thought, feelings, and behaviors of individuals after a romantic break-up. For example, parental attachment, relationship style, and time perspective all affect the amount of distress a person may feel after a romantic break-up (Gilbert & Sifers, 2011; Leung et al., 2011). Other investigations indicate that race and gender affect distress experienced after a break-up (Leung et al, 2011; Perilloux & Buss, 2008). However, identifying the relationship between self-esteem and distress that an individual faces after a break-up has proven difficult. The present study investigates the correlation between self-esteem and distress experienced after a break-up via surveys given to college students. We hypothesized that (a) self-esteem and duration of distress experienced after a romantic break-up will be negatively correlated, and (b) individuals with high levels of self-esteem will experience less distress after a romantic break-up and the duration of the distress will be shorter as compared to individuals with low self-esteem. None of the hypothesized relationships were statistically significant. Implications and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

References

Gilbert, S. P., & Sifers, S. K. (2011). Bouncing Back from a Breakup: Attachment, Time Perspective, Mental Health, and Romantic Loss. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 25(4), 295-310.

Leung, C., Moore, S., Karnilowicz, W., & Lung, C. L. (2011). Romantic Relationships, Relationship Styles, Coping Strategies, and Psychological Distress among Chinese and Australian Young Adults. Social Development, 20(4), 783-804.

Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (2008). Breaking up romantic relationships: Costs experienced and coping strategies deployed. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(1), 164-181. doi:10.1177/147470490800600119

Pistole, M. C. (1989). Attachment in adult romantic relationships: Style of conflict resolution and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6(4), 505-510.

Slotter, E. B., Gardner, W. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2010). Who am I without you? The influence of romantic breakup on the self-concept. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(2), 147-160. doi:10.1177/0146167209352250

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It’s Not You, It’s Me: Self-Esteem and Duration/Intensity of Distress After a Romantic Break-up

Romantic relationships are one of the most common sources of stress and anxiety. Much research has been conducted on factors that affect romantic relationships such as relationship attachment style (Pistole, 1989) and self-concept (Slotter, Gardner, & Finkel, 2009). Most research focuses on how these factors influence the thought, feelings, and behaviors of individuals after a romantic break-up. For example, parental attachment, relationship style, and time perspective all affect the amount of distress a person may feel after a romantic break-up (Gilbert & Sifers, 2011; Leung et al., 2011). Other investigations indicate that race and gender affect distress experienced after a break-up (Leung et al, 2011; Perilloux & Buss, 2008). However, identifying the relationship between self-esteem and distress that an individual faces after a break-up has proven difficult. The present study investigates the correlation between self-esteem and distress experienced after a break-up via surveys given to college students. We hypothesized that (a) self-esteem and duration of distress experienced after a romantic break-up will be negatively correlated, and (b) individuals with high levels of self-esteem will experience less distress after a romantic break-up and the duration of the distress will be shorter as compared to individuals with low self-esteem. None of the hypothesized relationships were statistically significant. Implications and recommendations for future research will be discussed.

References

Gilbert, S. P., & Sifers, S. K. (2011). Bouncing Back from a Breakup: Attachment, Time Perspective, Mental Health, and Romantic Loss. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 25(4), 295-310.

Leung, C., Moore, S., Karnilowicz, W., & Lung, C. L. (2011). Romantic Relationships, Relationship Styles, Coping Strategies, and Psychological Distress among Chinese and Australian Young Adults. Social Development, 20(4), 783-804.

Perilloux, C., & Buss, D. M. (2008). Breaking up romantic relationships: Costs experienced and coping strategies deployed. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(1), 164-181. doi:10.1177/147470490800600119

Pistole, M. C. (1989). Attachment in adult romantic relationships: Style of conflict resolution and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6(4), 505-510.

Slotter, E. B., Gardner, W. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2010). Who am I without you? The influence of romantic breakup on the self-concept. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(2), 147-160. doi:10.1177/0146167209352250