Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Rachel L. DiCioccio

Abstract

This study examined relational satisfaction and perceptions of the target person’s social skills from the perspective of both members of the relationship. Respondents (N = 177) age 18 to 28 completed the Relationship Assessment Scale and the emotional expressivity, emotional sensitivity, social expressivity, and social sensitivity subscales of the Social Skills Inventory. Participants and partners completed a self-report assessment of her or his own social skills, other-report assessment of her or his partners’ social skills, and the Relationship Assessment Scale. Multiple regression correlations were performed using participant and partner satisfaction as the dependent variables and participant and partner social skills as the independent variables. Results confirmed that individuals who are or perceive themselves to be socially skilled are more likely to be satisfied in her or his relationship. However, the data indicated that how an individual’s social skills are perceived by her or his partner, has minimal to no influence on her or his partner’s satisfaction with the relationship.

Significant, yet moderate relationships were found between respondents’ assessment of their social skills and their relational satisfaction. Although additional analyses yielded other moderate relationships that may influence relationship satisfaction, it is difficult to determine from this data what variables would strengthen the relationship between these two variables. While the research indicates a relationship between the variables, the results in this study question whose social skills play a role in determining relationship satisfaction –the individual or her or his partner.

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