Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Ryan Seedall


Ryan Seedall


Spencer Bradshaw


David Schramm


In this master's thesis, I conducted a quantitative study using data from 100 heterosexual couples in a committed, romantic relationship to better understand the relationship between perceived mattering (PM) and attachment and to explore how mattering relates to various mental health and relationship outcomes. All 200 partners independently completed an online anonymous questionnaire consisting of various quantitative assessments measuring my study variables (e.g., attachment, PM, and relationship and mental health outcomes).

I used dyadic data analysis to examine how study variables related to an individual's outcomes as well as their partner's. Overall, findings from the first analysis highlighted that men reported lower PM in the relationship when their female partner was higher in attachment avoidance. In addition, higher levels of attachment avoidance or attachment anxiety were significantly associated with lower PM for both men and women. The second analysis revealed that higher actor and partner PM was significantly associated with higher couple satisfaction and stronger constructive communication patterns (CCP) for men and women. For men, stronger needs-based communication (NBC) was significantly associated with stronger CCP. For women, stronger NBC was significantly associated with stronger CCP, lower anxiety, and lower depression.