Linking family functioning to dating relationship quality via novelty-seeking and harm-avoidance personality pathways

Judith L. Fischer, Jacki Fitzpatrick, H. Harrington Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organized by the systems theory concepts of equifinality and interdependence (Broderick, 1993) and Huston's (2000) social ecology model, this study examined two personality-based pathways to dating relationship quality among college students. The first pathway extends from family dysfunction to dating relationship quality via novelty seeking and excessive drinking. The second pathway extends from family dysfunction to relationship quality via harm avoidance and interpersonal competence. Male (n = 64) and female (n = 105) undergraduates completed questionnaires. The findings strongly supported the first hypothesis that was derived from Huston's social ecology model and the systems principle of equifinality. There were significant associations between adjacent variables in the path model and the presence of both pathways in the tested model provided a good fit to the data. The second hypothesis, based on the systems principle of interdependence, was not supported when cross-pathway links were included in the tested model. Implications for theory and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-590
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Dating
  • Drinking
  • Family dysfunction
  • Harm avoidance
  • Interpersonal competence
  • Novelty seeking
  • Relationship quality

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