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Title Examining defensive distancing behavior in close relationships: The role of self-esteem and emotion regulation
Publication Date
Degree MA
Discipline/Department Psychology
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher The Ohio State University
Abstract The risk regulation model proposes that people with low self-esteem (LSE), but not those with high self-esteem (HSE), react to potential threats to belonging by defensively distancing from their relationships. The present study hypothesized that self-focused rumination following threats to belonging, by forcing people with LSE to spend time considering their self-worth, would enhance this defensive distancing behavior. Participants were asked to recall self-relevant feedback they had received from someone they considered very close, and then completed a rumination or distraction task. Contrary to expectations, LSEs who were instructed to distract from threats to belonging reported more negative behavioral intentions towards their close other than those who were instructed to ruminate. However, in comparison to distraction, there was a trend for rumination to amplify LSEs’ negative affect following the recalled threats to belonging. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for risk regulation theory and for possible future directions.
Subjects/Keywords Psychology; Close relationships; rumination; emotion regulation; self-esteem
Contributors Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice (Committee Chair)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:osu1354731522
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor The Ohio State University

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…with threats to belonging. 11     Chapter 2 Methods Participants and procedures The original sample was composed of 202 undergraduate students taking an introductory psychology course at The Ohio State University during the 2011-2012 academic school…

…female (62%), undergraduate students in their first academic year (78%) at The Ohio State University. Approximately 40% of the sample was in a romantic relationship and the average duration of these relationships was 5.45 months…