Keywords

relational maintenance, cross-sex friendships, sex, dating status

Abstract

Given that male-female friendships lack institutional guidelines or scripts to guide everyday interactions, sustaining these relationships can be complicated. Although researchers have recently begun to study relational maintenance patterns in cross-sex friendships, no study has yet to investigate sex's and dating status's direct influences on friendship maintenance. This investigation seeks to add to the field's academic understanding of these personal relationships. Specifically, the researcher sought to uncover the associations between 10 friendship maintenance behaviors, past sexual contact, valence of past sexual contact, and cross-sex friends' dating statuses. Quantitative data were collected from 277 participants at a large Southeastern university using a survey methodology. Overall, results indicate that patterns of relational maintenance do differ as a function of friendship level, past sexual involvement, valence of past sexual involvement, and cross-sex friends' dating statuses. Past sexual involvement associates with higher levels of relationship talk, avoidance of negativity, and flirting. In addition, valence of past sexual activity varies across friendship level and associates with higher levels of positivity and flirting. Lastly, dating status significantly affects 3 of the 10 maintenance behaviors: routine contact and activity, flirting, and humor. Linear, quadratic, and cubic relationships were found for these variables, respectively. Implications of results, limitations, and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Graduation Date

2008

Advisor

Weger, Harry;

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Nicholson School of Communication

Degree Program

Communication

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0002070

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0002070

Language

English

Release Date

April 2009

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Communication Commons

Share

COinS