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Geographic Distance and Its Influence on Romantic Relationships: Comparing Long Distance and Geographically Close Relationships

Aleia Mays
Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Lisa Schulte

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Abstract

This research examined Long Distance (LD) and Geographically Close (GC) relationships and focused on different levels of investment, commitment, and closeness. The effects of geographic distance and sexual activity were also examined. This research explores the question, does geographic distance or being sexually active relate to how individuals define their relationship closeness, investment, or commitment? The hypotheses predict that: (1) LD couples will display greater closeness than GC couples; (2) LD couples will have a higher investment in their relationships than GC couples; (3 there will be no difference between LD couples and GC couples for commitment; and (4) there will be a relationship between relational investment size and perception of relationship closeness. Participants consisted of psychology undergraduates attending a Historically Black College or University. Participants completed questionnaires assessing variables associated with the Investment Model, The Inclusion of Other in the Self Scale (IOS), and the Pattern of Relating Scale. Findings indicated that participants who were sexually active perceived themselves as being closer in their relationship, and there was a positive correlation between investment size and closeness. Future research could expound on the correlation between investment size and closeness.


Key Terms

Long Distance Relationships, Geographically Close Relationships, Commitment, Investment, Satisfaction, Closeness


About the Author

Aleia Mays is a Psychology major with a double concentration in chemistry and sociology from Chicago, IL. Upon graduating from Xavier, she plans to receive her master’s in Public Health with an emphasis on community health. Read more ...


About the Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lisa Schulte, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, has a research background in the scholarship of teaching and learning, including the effect of supplemental instruction on student satisfaction and performance and the effects of affective, cognitive, and behavioral engagement on student satisfaction and performance.


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