Relational interdependent self-construal and the effects of stress on health outcomes, relationship satisfaction, and attention to alternatives
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Relational interdependent self-construal (RISC) refers to the self as defined by relationships with others. My research examined the effects of RISC and stress on relationship satisfaction and alternatives to the current partner in romantic relationships. This research also examined whether RISC was correlated with higher quality and quantity of social support and whether social support acted as a buffer during times of stress. In this study, 196 participants were measured on their level of RISC, social support, general health, positive and negative affect, relationship satisfaction, and attention to alternative partners. Participants were randomly assigned to either a stress condition or a non-stress condition. Participants completed two stress manipulations and an implicit measure of attention to alternative partners based on a reaction time task. Using Pearson correlations I found that RISC and social support were positively correlated. I also found that stress in the past month was correlated with poorer health, higher negative affect, and lower positive affect. Furthermore, regressions indicated that individuals high in RISC had higher satisfaction in their romantic relationship; however, the interaction between RISC and stress did not predict relationship satisfaction.