Attitudes toward love and perceived behavior exchange

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Bruce D. Forman - Committee Chair


Recent research has produced a multidimensional conception of love and a psychometrically sound scale with which to measure these attitudes. This study sought to determine: (1) the existence of distinct patterns of perceived behavior exchange for love attitudes, (2) the influence of sex role differences, and (3) relationship adjustment associated with love attitudes and perceived behavior exchange. Evaluation of data from 72 couples revealed perceived behavior exchange patterns of giving and taking of positive strokes, and a refusal to take negative strokes for the love attitude of Eros. Ludus was associated with a perception of giving and asking for negative strokes and a refusal to give positive strokes, and Storge only with taking positive strokes. Pragma was linked with refusal to give positive and negative strokes, and asking for positive, but not asking for negative reinforcers. Mania was perceived as asking for both negative and positive strokes, and Agape with the refusal to give to take negative strokes, but not refusing positive strokes. Only Ludus revealed a sex role difference, being more frequently endorsed by those adopting a masculine role and less so by those classified as feminine role. The attitudes of Eros, Storge and Agape, and the avoidance of Ludus, were associated with higher adjustment for couples. When only couples defined as well adjusted were analyzed, subscribing to the attitude of Eros and rejecting Ludus were significant. When couples were divided into adjusted and non-adjusted groups the attitudes of Storge, Eros and Ludus discriminated between the groups significantly. Similarly, the behavior exchange patterns of giving positive strokes, refusing to give negative strokes, and avoiding taking or asking for negative strokes was associated with higher adjustment. When couples defined as well adjusted were considered, a pattern of giving positive strokes, refusing to give negative strokes, not refusing to give positive strokes, and not asking for negative strokes was found to be related. The pattern of not taking negative and giving positive strokes discriminated significantly between adjusted and non-adjusted groups.


Education, Educational Psychology

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