Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development


Sylvia Niehuis


By using online self-report data provided by 41 undergraduate students and their dating partner(N = 82), this study examined the potential curvilinear relationship between four social network sectors (own parents, own friends, partner's parents, and partner's friends) and romantic dating partners' relationship characteristics (perceptions of partner's agreeableness, love, satisfaction, commitment, and ambivalence). After controlling for the effects of age, relationship duration, and social network overlap, the hierarchical regression analyses provided little support for the Romeo and Juliet Effect, that is, the negative association between social network approval and characteristics of the dating relationship. Instead, the study mostly replicated the positive linear relationship of social network approval with various relationship characteristics reported in the literature on social network approval. A few curvilinear relationships between social network approval and characteristics emerging from the relationship with the dating partner were found, however. A curvilinear association existed between perceptions of the partners' agreeableness and perceived social network approval from own parents, own friends, and partner's parents.