Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Social Work

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Previous research examining overall relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and sexual satisfaction among heterosexual women is well-documented. The theoretical foundation of attachment has also been well-established within relationship research among heterosexual women. However, little to no published reports examine such variables among women currently in same-sex relationships. Furthermore, virtually no reports assess for any differences in attachment identity based on the gender of women’s romantic partners. This study therefore sought to identify any interrelationships between relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, sexual satisfaction, and attachment identity (measured using the dimensions of avoidance and anxiety) among two groups of women based on their partner’s gender: (1) women partnered with women and (2) women partnered with men. This study also examined partner gender as a predictor of the aforementioned variables. One-hundred-sixty-six women currently in romantic partnerships completed an online survey. Partner gender was found to be independent of attachment dimensions. Significant, positive correlations emerged between relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and sexual satisfaction between both groups of women. Attachment-related anxiety was found to be a successful predictor of overall lower levels of relationship satisfaction, relationship commitment, and sexual satisfaction between both groups of women, whereas attachment-related avoidance was found to successfully predict lower levels of sexual satisfaction between both groups. These findings are further discussed in the context of previous research, limitations, and clinical implications for direct practice.

Date

10-18-2018

Committee Chair

Maccio, Elaine

Included in

Social Work Commons

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