Presentation on theme: "Predictors and Consequences of Involvement in Age-Discrepant Romantic Relationships Amy Bender Hanover College 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Predictors and Consequences of Involvement in Age-Discrepant Romantic Relationships Amy Bender Hanover College 2007
Questions Who gets involved in age-discrepant relationships? Are individuals involved in age-discrepant relationships less satisfied? Why are they less satisfied?
Existing Research: Who becomes involved in age-discrepant relationships? Demographic characteristics – People who become involved in age-discrepant relationships tend to be older, previously married, and have lower levels of education (Shenan, 2003). Relationship attitudes – People who become involved in age-discrepant relationships tend to have had insecure attachments to caregivers as children (Prager, 1995).
Existing Research: What are the outcomes of these relationships? Attitudes – Both adults and adolescents believe that age- discrepant relationships will be less successful than age-similar relationships, especially when the woman is older (Cowan, 1984).
Existing Research: What are the outcomes of these relationships? Empirical Research – Zak (2001) found that individuals in age- discrepant relationships reported more unselfish, sacrificing love and experienced less jealousy than those in age-similar relationships.
Research Question 1 What are the predictors of involvement in age-discrepant relationships? – Demographic characteristics Ethnicity, relationship status, education level – Ages of parents Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
Research Question 2 Are people who are involved in age- discrepant relationships less satisfied than those who are involved in age-similar relationships? – Examine relationship satisfaction
Research Question 3 What is the process by which age- discrepancy is linked to satisfaction? Examine exchange orientation as the mediator Under-benefiting versus over-benefiting exchange orientation (Sprecher, 1998)
Method Participants - N= 69 (14 male, 55 female; 85% Caucasian) - Age range: 18 to 56 years (mean= 25 years) - Age difference range: 0 to 28 years 43 younger partner, 10 same age, 15 older partner
Relationship Satisfaction Scale 7-item scale assessing relationship satisfaction -How well does partner meet your needs? -Likert scale ranging from 1 (poorly) to 5 (extremely well). Reliability: alpha =.90
Exchange-Orientation Scale 40-item scale assessing amount of exchange within relationship - Under-benefiting: I usually do not forget if my partner owes me a favor. - Over-benefiting: I usually do not forget if I owe my partner a favor. -Likert scale ranging from 1(strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Reliability: UEO alpha=.85; OEO alpha=.81
Results What are the predictors of involvement in age-discrepant relationships? Ethnicity: not significant Relationship status: not significant Education level: not significant Parents’ age difference: r =.27, p=.03
Results Are people who are involved in age- discrepant relationships less satisfied than those who are involved in age-similar relationships? - Yes. However, the correlation between age- discrepancy and satisfaction is significant only among participants who were the younger partner, r = -.49, p=.001.
Results What is the process by which age-discrepancy is linked to satisfaction? Does exchange orientation serve as a mediator? UEO B=.34, p=.024 B=-.29, p=.04 Age Discrepancy Satisfaction B=-.49, p=.001 B=-.39, p=.01
Discussion People who are involved in age-discrepant relationships are more likely to have parents who are involved in an age-discrepant relationship Younger partners in age-discrepant relationships are less satisfied, in part because they feel they are under-benefiting
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