Event Title

Cheating Influences on Young Adults’ Perceptions of Cross-sex Friendships

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Merry Sleigh

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Honors Thesis Committee

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Ph.D.; and Donna Nelson, Ph.D.

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

Start Date

22-4-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 2:45 PM

Description

Cross-sex friendships are defined as platonic relationships between people of the opposite sex. We examined cross-sex friendships and romantic relationships in conjunction. We also examined how past experiences with cheating impacted young adults’ attitudes toward their own and their romantic partners’ cross-sex friendships. We hypothesized that those who had been cheated on in their romantic relationships would be less receptive toward cross-sex friendships than adults who had not experienced cheating. 159 young adults responded online to established scales that measured relationship commitment and relationship satisfaction. Participants were asked to respond to the scales while picturing their closest cross-sex friends and to respond again with their romantic partners’ cross-sex friends in mind. Last, participants responded to questions that assessed their past experiences with cheating in the context of romantic relationships. The results supported our hypothesis: compared to adults who had never been cheated on, participants who had been cheated on in a romantic relationship were less comfortable with their partners having cross-sex friends. All young adults, whether they had cheated on a partner or had a partner cheat on them, reported being very accepting of having cross-sex friendships of their own. Experiencing cheating in a romantic relationship alters the victims’ own behavior with their cross-sex friends and their perceptions of their romantic partners’ cross-sex friendships. These findings contribute to our growing understanding of the complicated connections between romantic relationships and cross-sex friendships.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2016

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Apr 22nd, 2:30 PM Apr 22nd, 2:45 PM

Cheating Influences on Young Adults’ Perceptions of Cross-sex Friendships

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 221

Cross-sex friendships are defined as platonic relationships between people of the opposite sex. We examined cross-sex friendships and romantic relationships in conjunction. We also examined how past experiences with cheating impacted young adults’ attitudes toward their own and their romantic partners’ cross-sex friendships. We hypothesized that those who had been cheated on in their romantic relationships would be less receptive toward cross-sex friendships than adults who had not experienced cheating. 159 young adults responded online to established scales that measured relationship commitment and relationship satisfaction. Participants were asked to respond to the scales while picturing their closest cross-sex friends and to respond again with their romantic partners’ cross-sex friends in mind. Last, participants responded to questions that assessed their past experiences with cheating in the context of romantic relationships. The results supported our hypothesis: compared to adults who had never been cheated on, participants who had been cheated on in a romantic relationship were less comfortable with their partners having cross-sex friends. All young adults, whether they had cheated on a partner or had a partner cheat on them, reported being very accepting of having cross-sex friendships of their own. Experiencing cheating in a romantic relationship alters the victims’ own behavior with their cross-sex friends and their perceptions of their romantic partners’ cross-sex friendships. These findings contribute to our growing understanding of the complicated connections between romantic relationships and cross-sex friendships.