Topic of Conflict in Emerging Adults' Romantic Relationships

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This article presents reliability and validity evidence, from two separate studies, for a measure designed to assess topics of conflict within emerging adults’ romantic relationships (Topics of Conflict Scale [TCS]). In Study 1, college students in a current romantic relationship (N = 293) completed an initial 79-item form of the TCS. Exploratory factor analyses found that 22 items adequately loaded onto three factors (money, trust, and sex) with good internal consistency for each factor. Evidence of convergent validity was found with conflict management strategies. In Study 2 (N = 174 college students in a current romantic relationship), confirmatory factor analyses of the same 22 items from the initial 79-item TCS supported the same three factors (money, trust, and sex). In addition, acceptable test–retest reliability was found for each of the three subscales, and convergent validity evidence for the three subscales was found with conflict tactics. Overall, the TCS appears to be a psychometrically sound instrument for assessing three forms of conflict in romantic relationships among emerging adults.


This article was originally published as Reese-Weber, M., Kahn, J. H., & Nemecek, R. (2015). Topics of conflict in emerging adults’ romantic relationships. Emerging Adulthood, 3(5), 320–326.