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Handbook of

Interpersonal Commitment
and Relationship Stability

PERSPECTIVES ON INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES


CECIL R. REYNOLDS, Texas A&M University, College Station
ROBERT T. BROWN, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
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Handbook of
Interpersonal Commitment
and Relationship Stability
Edited by

Jeffrey M. Adams
High Point University
High Point. North Carolina

and

Warren H. Jones
University of Tennessee
Knoxville. Tennessee

SPRINGER SCIENCE+BUSINESS MEDIA, LLC

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Handbook of interpersonal commitment and relationship stabilityl
edited by Jeffrey M. Adams and Warren H. Jones.
cm.-(Perspectives on individual differences)
p.
Inc1udes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4613-7161-8
ISBN 978-1-4615-4773-0 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4615-4773-0
1. Interpersonal relations. 2. Commitment (Psychology)
1. Adams, Jeffrey M. II. Jones, Warren H. III. Series.

HMll06.H36

1999
99-37309

lS8.2-dc21

CIP

ISBN 978-1-4613-7161-8
1999 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Originally published by Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers in 1999
Softcover reprint of tbe hardcover Ist edition 1999

AII rights reserved


No par! of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any fonn or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording,
or otherwise, without written pennission from the Publisher

Contributors

Jeffrey M. Adams, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services, High Point
University, High Point, North Carolina 27262
Deborah S. Ballard-Reisch, Department of Health Ecology, University of Nevada, Reno,
Reno, Nevada 89557
Michelle L. Batchelder, Department of Human Ecology, Division of Child Development and
Family Relationships, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
Steven R. H. Beach, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602
Judy O. Berry. Department of Psychology, University ofTulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104
Melissa E. Berry, Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104
Thomas N. Bradbury, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles,
405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
Teresa L. Ciabattari, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle,
Washington 98195
Laurie L. Couch, Department of Psychology, Morehead State University, Morehead,
Kentucky 40351
Keith E. Davis, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South
Carolina 29208
Fran C. Dickson, Department of Speech Communication, University of Denver, Denver,
Colorado 80222
Joseph L. Etherton, Department of Psychology, Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
70118
Beverley Fehr, Department of Psychology, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
R3B 2E9, Canada

vi

CONTRIBUTORS

Renee V. Galliher, Department of Psychology, University ofTennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee


37996
Lucia A. Gilbert, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas, Austin,
Austin, Texas 78712
Robert O. Hansson, Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104
Debra K. Hughes, Department of Family Studies and Social Work, Miami University,
Oxford, Ohio 45046
Susan E. Jacquet, Department of Human Ecology, Division of Child Development and
Family Relationships, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
Matthew J.Johnson, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 405
Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
Michael P. Johnson, Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, University
Park, Pennsylvania 16802
Warren H. Jones, Department of Psychology, University ofTennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
37996
Matthew Kanjirathinkal, Graduate School, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice,
Texas A & M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas 75428
Benjamin R. Karney, Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
33261
Myra C. Kawaguchi, Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, lennessee 37996
Robert K. Leik, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
55455
George Levinger, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
W. Charles Lobitz, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80222
Mark G. Lundeen, Center for Marital and Family Therapy, 133 East 58th Street, New York,
New York 10022
John Lydon, Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, H3A IBl,
Canada
Carol Masheter, Private Practice, 1891 East Claybourne Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106
Danny S. Moore, Department of Psychology, Saint Leo College, Saint Leo, Florida 33574

CONTRIBUTORS

vii

Carol Masheter, Private Practice, 1891 East Claybourne Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106
Danny S. Moore, Department of Psychology, Saint Leo College, Saint Leo, Florida 33574
Hillary J. Morgan, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis,
California 95816
Bernard I. Murstein, Department of Psychology, Connecticut College, New London,
Connecticut 06320
Timothy J. Owens, Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indianapolis,
Indiana 46202
Davis G. Patterson, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
98195
Sharon S. Rostosky, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, University of
Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Caryl E. Rusbult, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina 27599
Ronald M. Sabatelli, Department of Family Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs,
Connecticut 06269
Pepper Schwartz, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
98195
Phillip R. Shaver, Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, Davis,
California 95616
Raghu N. Singh, Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, Texas A & M UniversityCommerce, Commerce, Texas 75428
Jana S. Spain, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Human Services, High Point
University, High Point, North Carolina 27262
Scott M. Stanley, Private Practice, 1780 S. Bellaire Street, Suite 621, Denver, Colorado 80222
Catherine A. Surra, Department of Human Ecology, Division of Child Development and
Family Relationships, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, Texas 78712
Irving Tallman, Department of Sociology, Washington State University, Pullman,
Washington 99164
Joseph Veroff, Institute for Social Research, Department of Psychology, University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

viii

CONTRIBUTORS

Deborah P. Welsh, Department ofPsycho!ogy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee


37996
Gregory L. White, Department ofPsycho!ogy, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon
97520
JenniferWieselquist, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina 27599
Betty S. Witcher, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,
North Carolina 27599
Pamela Kate Wyatt, Private Practice, 5619 El Campo Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Preface

A fundamental assumption underlying the formation of our most important relationships is


that they will persist indefinitely into the future. As an acquaintanceship turns into a friendship, for example, both members of this newly formed interpersonal bond are likely to expect
that their interactions will become increasingly frequent, diverse, and intimate over time. This
expectation is perhaps most apparent in romantically involved couples who, through a variety
of verbal and symbolic means, make explicit pledges to a long-lasting relationship. In either
case, it is clear that these relationships represent something valuable to the individuals involved and are pursued with great enthusiasm.
Virtually all close relationships are formed within the context of mutually rewarding interactions and/or strong physical attraction between partners. Friends and romantically involved couples alike are drawn to one another because of similarity of attitudes, interests, and
personality and, quite simply, because they enjoy one another's company. This enjoyment, coupled with the novelty that characterizes new relationships, almost makes the continuation of
the relationship a foregone conclusion. As relationships progress, however, their novelty fades,
conflicts may arise between partners, negative life events may occur, and the satisfaction that
previously characterized the relationships may diminish. In such circumstances, what becomes
of the desire to see relationships continue? Do people summarily end relationships they believe
are no longer rewarding or do they endeavor to endure dissatisfaction in the hope that the relationship will return to a positive state? What might lead some individuals to leave unhappy
relationships and others to stay in them? Moreover, what might impel some individuals to
leave what are, by all accounts, satisfying relationships and others to remain in distressing (or
even abusive) relationships?
At root level, all of these questions have something to do with an individual's degree of
commitment to his or her relationships. Although commitment has been represented in the
social-psychological literature for several decades, most commonly in research on cognitive
dissonance and the general attitude-behavior paradigm, it has only recently been employed in
research on interpersonal relationships. Since about 1980, a handful of scholars have been exploring the ways commitment influences the course of relationships and how specific characteristics of relationships influence the experience and expression of commitment. Through
such efforts, researchers are beginning to clarify how commitment interacts with the complex
array of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that uniquely characterize intimate relationships.
However, further advancement in this field is hampered by the fact that although the literature
on interpersonal commitment is growing, it seems to be doing so without much organization
or focus. This is due, in part, to the fact that no attempts have been made to examine this literature broadly with an eye toward identifying its common themes, methodological limitations,

ix

PREFACE

and areas in need of additional development. Consequently, researchers cannot comment effectively on the "state of the field" and therefore are not in the best position to pursue systematically particular lines of research that might be most beneficial to the growing knowledge
base. It is in recognition of this fact that the idea for the present volume arose.
Although central to understanding several important relationship processes, commitment
has not been the focus of previous research monographs. Indeed, most research on close relationships has focused on relationship quality (satisfaction) as the primary factor in relationship
continuance. However, it is clear that many relationships remain intact even when they do not
appear to be satisfying to one or both partners (e.g., abusive relationships) and that some relationships may dissolve even though satisfaction with the relationship is high (e.g., friendships
with former coworkers). This volume is, therefore, very much in line with recent theoretical
statements suggesting that research on relationship stability should focus on factors beyond
just emotions in examining decisions to maintain or terminate a relationship. It is our hope that
the present volume complements the literature on relationship satisfaction and, in particular,
addresses important questions concerning relationship persistence and change.
The general goals of this handbook are to summarize and integrate the theoretical and
empirical literature on interpersonal commitment as well as other variables related to relationship longevity. Although commitment has been examined most frequently in romantic relationships, this volume also addresses commitment between friends, family members, and other
relational partners. Also, because commitment has received relatively little research attention
compared to such constructs as love and attachment, the volume includes scholarship that
seeks to integrate research on commitment processes into the related but broader domains of
love, attachment, trust, and satisfaction. Finally, many of the chapters in this volume include
discussions about some of the implications of current theorizing about relational commitment
and suggest possible avenues for future research. Our ultimate goal in developing this handbook was to synthesize these discussions into a larger-scale program of research, leading to a
more cumulative research literature and possibly to the development of more comprehensive
theories of relational commitment.
In compiling this volume, we sought contributors whose work is well known and who, in
previous scholarship, have balanced engaging exposition and empirical accuracy. Moreover,
we guided authors toward interest value, relevance, and "the big picture" over exacting, highly
technical, and overly scholarly scientific treatments. We also sought consideration of perspectives beyond the typical laboratory paradigm. Thus, we recommended that authors draw material from a variety of research and theoretical traditions (e.g., laboratory experiments,
interview studies, surveys, research among diverse populations, cross-cultural studies, and the
like). Similarly, to the extent possible, we have encouraged authors to draw on sociological,
cultural, historical, and literary analyses of these topics for additional insights. The result is,
we believe, a well-balanced treatment of interpersonal commitment and relationship stability.
The introductory chapter, written by the editors, serves to open the volume by placing the
study of interpersonal commitment into historical context. Specifically, reasons for increased
scholarly attention to the construct of commitment are explored and the current state of the literature on interpersonal commitment is summarized. In general, the goal of this chapter is to
orient the reader to the domain of commitment research and lay the groundwork for the indepth examination of commitment in subsequent chapters.
Following this introductory review are six major sections that seem to capture the essence
of the theoretical and empirical literatures on interpersonal commitment and relationship stability. The purpose of Part II is to discuss definitions, conceptualizations, and research on relational commitment from several theoretical orientations. To some extent, this involves the
use of various disciplinary perspectives including etymology, mythology, and sociological and
psychological theory. Moreover, the chapters in this part describe and evaluate specific theo-

PREFACE

xi

retical statements on commitment and the empirical evidence they have generated. For example, in Chapter 2, George Levinger provides a focused exposition on the conceptual history of
commitment and relationship stability, noting that fluctuations in the relative importance of attraction and constraint forces have affected people's commitment to their close relationships.
In addition, Levinger elaborates on his model of marital cohesiveness by discussing the previously understudied concept of barriers around alternatives. Following this, in Chapter 3,
Pamela Kate Wyatt traces the meaning of interpersonal commitment from its origins in the
English language to its usage in religious, mythological, and cultural contexts. She emphasizes
the fact that commitment is a ubiquitous concept across broad experiential and epistemological domains. Finally, in Chapter 4, Michael P. Johnson provides a general exposition on competing theoretical and conceptual models of interpersonal commitment, with special emphasis
on the commitment framework he has developed over the past 30 years. Central to this chapter
is the argument that commitment is best regarded as a multidimensional construct rather than
a global orientation toward relationships.
The chapters in Part III address alternative explanations and viewpoints regarding the origins of commitment and relationship stability, the development of commitment over the lifespan of the individual and the time-course of a relationship, and variations in commitment as
a function of adult attachment styles. In Chapter 5, Mark G. Lundeen examines evidence that
our capacity to commit to relationships exists from earliest infancy and that this neonatal capacity may have profound effects on our ability to commit to relationships in adulthood.
Extending this argument further, Hillary 1. Morgan and Philip R. Shaver discuss, in Chapter
6, the implications of childhood patterns of attachment on subsequent orientations toward
commitment in adulthood. In particular, they argue that the adult capacity to commit to relationships is a nonrational process emergent from childhood attachment experiences. In
Chapter 7, Catherine A. Surra, Debra K. Hughes, and Susan E. Jacquet focus on the process of
developing interpersonal commitments by examining the various pathways couples may follow in deciding to marry. They suggest that both subjective experience and objective socialpsychological conditions combine to influence a couple's decision to wed. Finally, in Chapter
8, Joseph Veroffuses a longitudinal approach to explore how a complex web offactors-including commitment, satisfaction, social obligations, consideration of alternative relationships,
interdependence, and collaboration-affect marital stability in newlywed couples.
The chapters in Part IV examine the interpersonal dynamics that enhance or inhibit relationship commitment, stability, and endurance under various circumstances. Moreover, these
chapters explore variations in commitment processes as a function of the characteristics ofthe
relationships in which they unfold. In Chapter 9, Jeffrey M. Adams and Jana S. Spain outline
a general theoretical model that describes the dynamic interplay of commitment, relationship
satisfaction, exchange thinking, and personality. The point is made in this chapter that an
understanding of how commitment interacts with other relevant relationship processes is fundamental to understanding why some couples separate when satisfaction is threatened and others do not. Ronald M. Sabatelli explores a similar theme in Chapter 10 in his description of the
process involved in the construction and deconstruction of special relationships. In particular,
he suggests that commitment serves as a feedback mechanism that affects how information is
processed in special relationships, which affects, in turn, whether the relationships are perceived as being satisfying or unsatisfying. In Chapter 11, John Lydon discusses commitment
in the face of adversity, highlighting relationship stability and change in the context of situations involving personal and social problems and cross-processes. A central feature of this
chapter is the argument that commitment becomes most evident in relationships when partners are confronted by stressful circumstances. In Chapter 12, Bernard I. Murstein examines
the relationship between commitment and exchange orientation in close relationships. He
places special emphasis on how issues of fairness in the exchange of interpersonal resources

xii

PREFACE

influence commitment to close relationships. In Chapter 13, Keith E. Davis focuses on longitudinal studies of developing romantic relationships as a means of differentiating qualitative
measures of satisfaction and affect from commitment processes. Davis argues that, in many
cases, relationship stability cannot be adequately explained by prevailing exchange-based
models and that attachment history and love are important components of interpersonal commitment. Finally, in Chapter 14, Robert K. Leik, Timothy J. Owens, and Irving Tallman focus
on the dynamics of forming, maintaining, and negating commitments to a wide variety of relationships, tasks, and personal identities. This chapter emphasizes the idea that individuals are
embedded in a complex network of competing commitments, and that a major life task is to
maintain balance among these competing commitments.
Previous research and theorizing have noted differences in commitment and stability associated with the type or length of relationship under investigation. Accordingly, the common
objective among the chapters in Parts V and VI is to examine interpersonal commitment and
relationship stability as they are experienced in relationships of varying importance, type, and
length. In particular, the focus of these chapters is the centrality of commitment processes to
virtually all interpersonal exchanges and its importance in understanding stability and change
in various types of relationships. In addition, this section expands the construct of commitment
by exploring its meaning and implications in less common or less obvious relational circumstances. For example, in Chapter 15, Beverley Fehr examines commitment in the context of
friendship, a previously unexplored relationship type in the commitment literature. Fehr notes
that several factors may facilitate or interfere with the stability of friendships, including relationship events such as courtship, marriage, parenthood, divorce, or widowhood, and careerrelated transitions such as changing jobs, transferring to a differing school, or retiring. Robert
O. Hansson, Judy O. Berry, and Melissa E. Berry provide, in Chapter 16, a unique perspective
on the persisting commitments that many people have to deceased spouses. These authors note
that some interpersonal attachments are so strong in life that even the death of one of the partners is not sufficient to break the commitment. In Chapter 17, Carol Masheter underscores the
notion that commitment to another individual need not end with the dissolution of the relationship. Consistent with this idea, Masheter examines how some divorced spouses maintain
their relationships for personal, financial, or obligatory reasons. Raghu N. Singh and Matthew
Kanjirathinkal provide in Chapter 18 a cross-cultural examination of commitment in the marriages of East Indian couples. A significant point addressed in this chapter is that the experience of commitment, and, indeed, overall conceptualizations of relationships in general,
depend heavily on internalized norms and standards valued by one's culture. Sharon S.
Rostosky, Deborah P. Welsh, Myra C. Kawaguchi, and Renee V. Galliher show in Chapter 19
that commitment is not limited to adult relationships but also appears to playa major role in
the development of adolescent dating relationships. In addition, they explain how commitment
is fundamentally implicated in adolescents' decisions to engage in sexual relations. Finally, in
Chapter 20, Davis G. Patterson, Teresa Ciabattari, and Pepper Schwartz apply current thinking
about the construct of commitment to homosexual relationships. In this chapter, the authors
pay particular attention to the differences in the stability of homosexual and heterosexual relationships, as well as differences in the stability of lesbian and gay relationships.
The goals of the chapters in Part VI are to discuss the role of commitment in clinical settings and to explore other potential applications of commitment theory. Regarding the former,
Joseph L. Etherton and Steven R. H. Beach, in Chapter 21, confront the notion that commitment
to marriage is necessarily and irrevocably eroded in the face of spousal betrayal. Drawing from
attachment theory and work in cognitive psychology on parallel distributed processing, they
note that the activation of relevant attachment schemas may resurrect feelings oflove and commitment for the betraying spouse. In Chapter 22, Scott M. Stanley, w. Charles Lobitz, and Fran
C. Dickson further demonstrate the utility of applying commitment theory to clinical settings

PREFACE

xiii

by elaborating on the ways the experience of constraint and dedication in marriage can be effectively utilized in the practice of marital therapy. Although not explicitly written from a therapy perspective, Chapter 23, by Lucia A. Gilbert and Sarah 1. Walker, suggests possible clinical
applications of commitment through its impact on communication styles in relationships. The
dominant theme of this chapter is that gender-linked traditions about relationships affect commitment to, and effective functioning of, intimate heterosexual relationships. Similarly, Deborah
S. Ballard-Reisch and Daniel 1. Weigel emphasize the dynamic interplay of commitment and
communication in relationships. In Chapter 24, they explicate a dynamic model that highlights
the notion that commitment is an emergent property of spousal communication about marital
events. Implicit in their discussion is the possibility that addressing issues relevant to effective
communication may strengthen commitment to relationships.
The chapters comprising Part VII examine relevant constructs and processes that have
been linked theoretically to relational commitment and stability. The goal of these chapters is
to clarify further the construct of commitment by examining similar states and processes and
the theoretical "boundary limits" between these concepts and commitment. For example, in
Chapter 25, Caryl E. Rusbult, Jennifer Wieselquist, Craig A. Foster, and Betty S. Witcher place
special emphasis on the role of trust in forming interdependent relationships. Specifically, the
authors propose that romantic partners' motivation to maintain their relationship and to behave
in a way that is consistent with relationship maintenance is influenced by the combined effects
of commitment and trust. Laurie L. Couch, Warren H. Jones, and Danny S. Moore provide a
broad discussion of the effect of interpersonal betrayal on relationship commitment and stability in Chapter 26. They argue that although betrayal in close relationships may have an eroding effect on trust and commitment, apologizing for committing a relational offense may serve
a restorative function. In a more narrowly focused discussion in Chapter 27, Gregory L. White
explores the effect ofjealousy on interpersonal commitment and relationship stability. Central
to this chapter is the idea that jealousy emerges primarily in response to a threat to self-esteem
brought about by the perception that one's romantic partner may be attracted to a rival. In this
context, commitment may reduce the threat to self-esteem by providing security against the
pursuit of rival partners. Finally, in Chapter 28, Benjamin R. Karney, Thomas N. Bradbury, and
Michael 1. Johnson look exclusively at relationship stability and comment on the utility of differentiating the developmental course of a relationship from its endpoint. In their discussion,
the authors note the importance of analyzing differences in trajectories toward marital dissolution when explaining stability in marriage.
We believe this volume is unique in many respects. First, as indicated earlier, no comparable comprehensive review of research on commitment exists in the literature. The few existing books devoted exclusively to commitment tend to be strictly theoretical, idiosyncratic, and
somewhat narrow in focus. Thus, one important feature of the present work is the breadth and
depth of its coverage of both theoretical and empirical developments in the field. A second
unique characteristic of the volume is its multidisciplinary treatment of commitment. The contributors to the volume represent a wide variety of academic disciplines, including psychology,
sociology, and family studies, as well as several subdisciplines within the field of psychology
(e.g., personality, social, clinical). Such a broad sampling of researchers has allowed for the
coverage of relational commitment from several different perspectives and theoretical orientations. Third, the volume examines applied issues in both general and selected specific approaches to therapy and intervention. In this regard, attention is focused on the relationship
between commitment and maintenance behaviors in marriage as well as intervention strategies
designed to address more general issues such as the inability of some individuals to make interpersonal commitments. Finally, the volume includes the integration of research and theory
regarding commitment processes, with comparable work on related phenomena such as love
and attachment.

xiv

PREFACE

Although only two names appear on the cover and title page of this volume, this project
would not have come to fruition without the efforts of the distinguished group of scholars
whose contributions are at once theoretically and empirically rigorous and enjoyable to read.
We also are truly appreciative of the helpful comments and technical assistance provided by
our colleagues and associates over the past 4 years. The process of building this volume has
been a rewarding one, and we hope that it not only presents contemporary scholarship on interpersonal commitment and relationship stability in a fair and representative way, but also that
it stimulates thinking about these important constructs and helps to shape future developments
in theory and research.
JEFFREY M. ADAMS
WARREN H. JONES

Contents

I. INTRODUCTION
1. Interpersonal Commitment in Historical Perspective ......................
Jeffery M. Adams and Warren H. Jones

II. CONCEPTUALIZATION AND MEASUREMENT


OF INTERPERSONAL COMMITMENT
2. Duty toward Whom? Reconsidering Attractions and Barriers
as Determinants of Commitment in a Relationship .......................
George Levinger
3. Conceiving Couple Commitment: Choice, Promise, and Fulfillment .........
Pamela Kate Wyatt
4. Personal, Moral, and Structural Commitment to Relationships:
Experiences of Choice and Constraint ..................................
Michael P. Johnson

37

53

73

III. THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERPERSONAL


COMMITMENT
5. Interpersonal Experience in Infancy as a Foundation for the Capacity
in Adults for Stable Relationships ......................................
Mark G. Lundeen

91

6. Attachment Processes and Commitment to Romantic Relationships ......... 109


Hillary J. Morgan and Phillip R. Shaver

xv

xvi

CONTENTS

7. The Development of Commitment to Marriage:


A Phenomenological Approach ........................................ 125
Catherine A. Surra, Debra K. Hughes, and Susan E. Jacquet
8. Commitment in the Early Years of Marriage ............................. 149
Joseph Veroff

IV. BASIC COMMITMENT PROCESSES IN RELATIONSHIPS


9. The Dynamics oflnterpersonal Commitment and the Issue
of Salience .......................................................... 165
Jeffrey M. Adams and Jana S. Spain
10. Marital Commitment and Family Life Transitions:
A Social Exchange Perspective on the Construction
and Deconstruction oflntimate Relationships ............................ 181
Ronald M. Sabatelli
11. Commitment and Adversity: A Reciprocal Relation ....................... 193
John Lydon
12. The Relationship of Exchange and Commitment ......................... 205
Bernard I. Murstein
13. What Attachment Styles and Love Styles Add to the Understanding
of Commitment and Relationship Stability .............................. 221
Keith E. Davis
14. Interpersonal Commitments: The Interplay of Social Networks
and Individual Identities ............................................. 239
Robert K. Leik, Timothy J. Owens, and Irving Tallman

V. COMMITMENT WITHIN DIVERSE POPULATIONS


15. Stability and Commitment in Friendships ............................... 259
Beverley Fehr
16. The Bereavement Experience: Continuing Commitment
after the Loss of a Loved One ......................................... 281
Robert O. Hansson, Judy O. Berry, and Melissa E. Berry

xvii

CONTENTS

17. Examples of Commitment in Postdivorce Relationships


between Ex-Spouses ................................................. 293
Carol Masheter
18. Levels and Styles of Commitment in Marriage: The Case
of Asian Indian Immigrants ........................................... 307
Raghu N. Singh and Matthew Kanjirathinkal
19. Commitment and Sexual Behaviors in Adolescent Dating Relationships ...... 323
Sharon S. Rostosky, Deborah P. Welsh, Myra C. Kawaguchi,
and Renee V. Galliher
20. The Constraints of Innovation: Commitment and Stability
among Same-Sex Couples ............................................. 339
Davis G. Patterson, Teresa Ciabattari, and Pepper Schwartz

VI. CLINICAL ISSUES AND APPLICATIONS


21. Perceived Partner Commitment and Attachment Style:
Clinical Implications of a Cognitive Perspective .......................... 393
Joseph L. Etherton and Steven R. H. Beach
22. Using What We Know: Commitment and Cognitions
in Marital Therapy .................................................. 407
Scott M. Stanley, W. Charles Lobitz, and Fran C. Dickson
23. Dominant Discourse in Heterosexual Relationships:
Inhibitors or Facilitators of Interpersonal Commitment
and Relationship Stability? ........................................... 363
Lucia A. Gilbert and Sarah J. Walker
24. Communication Processes in Marital Commitment:
An Integrative Approach ............................................. 379
Deborah S. Ballard-Reisch and Daniel J. Weigel

VII. RELATED CONSTRUCTS


25. Commitment and Trust in Close Relationships:
An Interdependence Analysis .......................................... 427
Caryl E. Rusbult, Jennifer Weiselquist, Craig A. Foster,
and Betty S. Witcher

xviii

CONTENTS

26. Buffering the Effects of Betrayal: The Role of Apology,


Forgiveness, and Commitment ......................................... 451
Laurie L. Couch, Warren H. Jones, and Danny S. Moore
27. Jealousy and Problems of Commitment ................................. 471
Gregory L. White
28. Deconstructing Stability: The Distinction between the Course
of a Close Relationship and Its Endpoint ................................ 481
Benjamin R. Karney, Thomas N. Bradbury, and Michael J. Johnson

VIII. CONCLUSION
29. Future Directions for Commitment Research ............................ 503
Jeffrey M. Adams
Index .................................................................. 521