Psychological health and change in closeness in platonic and romantic relationships

J Soc Psychol. 1999 Dec;139(6):762-7. doi: 10.1080/00224549909598255.

Abstract

The authors investigated (a) whether increased closeness and decreased closeness of a relationship are associated with better and poorer psychological health, respectively; and (b) whether poorer psychological health is related to perceiving oneself or to perceiving the other person as primarily responsible for decreased closeness. A sample of English undergraduate students (52 female, 52 male; 16-23 years of age) completed M. Rosenberg's (1965) Self-Esteem Scale, D. P. Goldberg's (1972) 12-item General Health Questionnaire, and a 6-item scale developed for this study to measure change in closeness and to identify the initiator(s) of the change. Decreased closeness was related to poorer psychological health in male participants' platonic relationships and in female participants' romantic relationships. Poorer psychological health was associated with (a) perceiving the other person as responsible for decreased closeness in male participants' platonic relationships and (b) perceiving both parties as mutually responsible for decreased closeness in female participants' romantic relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Love*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires