Dating behaviors of college students
Among the variables most often examined in attempting to identify the impact of jealousy on relationships are relationship stage (Aune & Comstock, 1997), exclusivity (Francis, 1977), commitment (White, 1981), satisfaction (Sprecher, 2002), self-esteem (Peretti & Pudowski, 1997), and neuroticism (Melamed, 1991). Journal of Social Psychology, 15, 31-33Sprecher, S. Sexual satisfaction in premarital relationships: Associations with satisfaction, Love, Commitment, and Stability.
Many researchers have found that jealousy increases as a relationship progresses and becomes more serious (Mathes, 1986; Sacher & Fine, 1996; Aune & Comstock, 1997; Moore, Mc Cabe, & Brink, 2001).
To explain this finding, most of these researchers focus on the reinforcement and rewards available to an individual in a relationship (which lead to satisfaction in the relationship) and recognize that threats to the continuation of those rewards, particularly in the form of a potential rival, may place the individual at greater risk for jealousy due to the threat of losing the significant other. Predicting relationship status and satisfaction after six months among dating couples.
Most studies support the notion that persons who express greater satisfaction in a relationship are actually at greater risk to experience jealous behavior than those who are less satisfied (Watson, Hubbard, & Wiese, 2000; Sprecher, 2002; Dugosh, 2000; Sanderson & Kurdek, 1993; Sabatelli, 1988). From the above review of the literature, the following research questions were examined in this study: (1) Do jealousy scores differ for women who are in a steady dating relationship from those who are dating casually or not in a steady dating relationship? (2) Do jealousy scores differ for women who are in an exclusive relationship from jealousy scores for women who are not dating exclusively? Not surprisingly, neuroticism has a negative effect on relationship success and satisfaction. Individuals high in neuroticism tend to report greater instability in their relationships and are more prone to experience jealousy (Watson, Hubbard, & Wiese, 2000; Watson & Clark, 1984).