Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science





First Advisor

Loreto Prieto


Research has empirically demonstrated that adult attachment style directly affects communication between partners in romantic relationships, in particular, how partners address and handle conflicts in the relationship. The construct of relationship-contingent self-esteem (RCSE) suggests that individuals behave differently in romantic relationships based on the degree to which their personal self-esteem is connected to successes or failures in that relationship. However, few studies have examined how these two independent constructs are related to one another in terms of relationship communication behaviors during conflict. The purpose of my study was to examine the moderating and mediating effect of RCSE on the relation between attachment styles in romantic relationships and conflict behaviors in romantic relationships, as well as its moderating and mediating effect on the relation between attachment styles and relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that anxious attachment scores were significantly positively correlated with RCSE, anxious and avoidant attachment characteristics were significantly negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction, and that RCSE neither had a moderating or mediating effect on the relations between pure anxious attachment and number of detrimental decisions endorsed during conflict scenarios, or level of relationship satisfaction. Implications for continued examination of role that RCSE plays in the context of conflict in romantic relationships, as well as implications for clinical work are discussed.

Copyright Owner

Amanda Katherine Buduris



File Format


File Size

115 pages