Structural relations among negative affect, perceived mate values and mating strategies
AuthorKirsner, Beth Randi
AdvisorJacobs, W. Jake
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractClinically it is well known that negative affect influences the quality of human social, romantic, and sexual relationships. Conversely, it is well accepted that the quality of these relationships influences both positive and negative affect in humans. Few studies, however, have attempted to formally characterize--or to examine the clinical implications--of this phenomenon. Hence, the present study used a Structural Equations Model (SEM) approach to examine relations among self-reported Negative Affect, Mate Values, and Mate Retention Behaviors. Multiple measures of these latent constructs were taken from 238 undergraduates males (N=99) and females (N=139). An extant model (Kirsner, Figueredo, & Jacobs, 2003) was used to generate a priori predictions upon which an initial SEM was based. The fit of the initial model to the data was compared to that of seven alternative theory-driven models using Chi-squared difference tests and practical indices of fit. These comparisons were used to eliminate the least parsimonious of the models. Among the models eliminated were the original model, which claimed both indirect (Kirsner et al., 2003) and direct effects of negative affect (e.g., anxiety and depression) on mate retention behaviors, those claiming only indirect effects among the latent variables, and those claiming that negative affect have a 'general suppressive effect' on the outcome variables (e.g., Beck, 1967). The model that explained the data pattern most parsimoniously claimed that negative affect directly increases mate retention behaviors, decreases personal mate value, and indirectly, by way of personal mate value, decreases partner mate values. This model is useful at two levels. Theoretically, the model provides a basis for an ultimate (functional) explanation for causal relations between negative affect and reproductive behavior in humans. Clinically, the model predicts the occurrence of a rich pattern of specific mate retention behaviors, including retention behaviors that may disrupt ongoing social function, in response to spontaneous or clinically induced changes in negative affect.
Degree ProgramGraduate College