Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family, Consumer, and Human Development


Sylvia Niehuis


Using a sample of 82 college students in dating relationships, this study is an examination of the moderating effect of parents' and friends' approval of the dating relationship on the associations between participants' individual characteristics (age, self-esteem, and own agreeableness) and relationship characteristics (love, ambivalence, conflict, conflict resolution effectiveness, and perception of the partner's agreeableness) with trust. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses showed that approval of the relationship by parents and friends moderated the relationship between individual characteristics and relationship characteristics with trust. Specifically, friends' approval of the relationship moderated the association between self-esteem and age with trust, whereas parents' approval of the relationship moderated the association between love, conflict, ambivalence, and conflict resolution effectiveness, with trust. The findings contribute to research and theory on dyadic trust, uncertainty reduction, and social network approval.