Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Self-worth influences how individuals perceive the health of their romantic relationships

in response to adverse experiences, especially interpersonal threats. Though explicit

self-esteem is often used as an indicator of self-worth in investigations of relationship

functioning after interpersonal threats, particularly those focusing on perceptions of felt

love and acceptance, actual:ideal self-discrepancy is an evaluative aspect of the self

that may have more direct impacts on romantic relationship functioning after negative

events that are unrelated to the relationship. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence

Model to analyze dyadic data from 150 African American couples using multilevel

regression models, the current study’s results were contrary to predictions; actor's selfdiscrepancy

did not moderate the association between daily event negativity and daily

relationship functioning (H1) and actor's and partner's self-discrepancy did not interact

to moderate this association either (H3). However, partner's self-discrepancy

significantly moderated the association between daily event negativity and daily

relationship functioning (H2) while a post-hoc analysis found that partner's selfdiscrepancy

significantly moderated the association between actor's self-discrepancy

and daily relationship functioning. Actual:ideal self-discrepancy exerted a distinctive

impact on romantic relationship functioning, even after controlling for explicit selfesteem,

and may be a critical factor in relationship health to investigate in the future.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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