Can't live with them or can't live without them?: The effects of betrayal on relational outcomes in college dating relationships

Academic Article


  • Relational satisfaction and stability following discovered incidents of relational betrayal were investigated. Predictions from Social Exchange Theory, specifically Rusbult's Investment Model, were tested along with the effects of communication strategies. Participants (N = 155) completed a questionnaire about a recalled betrayal. Inconsistent with the investment model, relational satisfaction was the best predictor of relational stability. Generally, the more committed and invested the offender, the more likely the reported use of communication repair strategies. The likelihood of apologies, accepting responsibility, and promising change also increased with the severity of the betrayal. Only promising change was related to post-betrayal relational satisfaction. © 2009, Eastern Communication Association.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ferrara MH; Levine TR
  • Start Page

  • 187
  • End Page

  • 204
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 2