Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Eric D. Wesselmann

Second Advisor

Matthew S. Hesson-McInnis


Despite many recommendations to assess the role of the social exchange theory and the interdependence theory in long-distance relationships, few researchers have investigated if the roles of satisfaction, alternatives, and investments in a relationship influence commitment differently for individuals in long-distance relationships compared to individuals in geographically close relationships. I hypothesized that trust, desire for frequent sex, satisfaction, alternatives, and investment in the relationship have unique predictive relationships on commitment depending on relationship proximity and gender. In two studies, I first tested prior research investigating the role of negative affect on relationship commitment. I extended this research and found that a preference for frequent sex and trust for one's partner were substantially better predictors of relationship commitment compared to negative affect and components of relational security. In Study 2, I developed a model to predict commitment using satisfaction, quality of alternatives, relationship investments, preference for frequent sex, and trust. This model was tested between men and women in geographically close and long-distance relationships and revealed significantly different predictive relations between the conditions. Specifically, satisfaction and trust predicted commitment differently between the models for women in both geographically close and long-distance relationships and men in geographically close relationships. Men in long-distance relationships required a separate model where the quality of alternatives did not predict relationship commitment and a preference for frequent sex mediated trust and commitment.


Imported from ProQuest Eichler_ilstu_0092N_10348.pdf


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