Year

2022

Season

Spring

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Paul Fuglestad

Second Advisor

Dr. Jody Nicholson

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

James Garner

Abstract

The current study applied the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (Cook & Kenny, 2005) to assess influence in romantic dyads regarding health attitudes and behaviors (exercise, eating), and the moderating effects of gendered power. Associations between dyad similarity scores on health attitudes, health behaviors, and gendered relationship quality was also explored. Forty-five heterosexual romantic couples who were exclusively dating (72% White/Caucasian; age M = 22.3 years; relationship length M = 28.7 months) completed several questionnaires including: the Relationship Power Inventory – Overall (Farrell et al., 2015), the Perceived Relationship Quality Components Inventory (Fletcher et al., 2000), a modified Exercise Identity Scale (Anderson & Cychosz, 1994), a modified Healthy-Eating Identity Scale (Strachan & Brawley, 2009), and a modified Health Practices Scale (Jackson, 2005). Results showed that female health attitudes predicted female (p = .006) and male health behaviors (p = .043). Male health attitudes only predicted male health behaviors (p = .004), not female health behaviors. Similar results held true for actor and partner pathways between exercise attitudes and behaviors (p’s < .05). Regarding eating, all female actor and partner effects were nonsignificant, while male eating attitudes only predicted male eating behaviors (p = .009). Male power only moderated the female actor effect of health attitudes predicting health behaviors, such that female health attitudes were more predictive when males had lower versus higher power (p = .008). Female power only moderated the female partner effect of female exercise attitudes predicting male exercise behaviors, such that female exercise attitudes were more predictive when females had higher versus lower power (p = .010). Lastly, dyad similarity scores on health attitudes, health behaviors, and gendered relationship quality were unrelated. Consistent with gender role socialization and gendered power, females had more influence on male partners’ health behaviors. Continued data collection and assessment of key personality constructs is recommended.

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