The behavior of a depressed person is thought to produce changes in others’ behavior that depresses the dysphoric person further (Coyne, 1976). One behavior that produces changes in others’ behavior is excessive reassurance seeking. The existing literature on reassurance seeking suggests that this behavior leads to interpersonal rejection (Joiner, Alfano, & Metalsky, 1992; Joiner & Metalsky, 1995). This investigation employed multiple methods to measure reassurance seeking and rejection, allowing for the examination of reassurance seeking and rejection on the microanalytic level. This study broadened the conceptualization of reassurance seeking and narrowed the conceptualization of rejection. The sample was comprised of married couples, including non-depressed and clinically depressed people. Observed reassurance seeking was associated with observed rejection by spouses in both depressed and non-depressed husbands and wives. Husbands’ depressive severity moderated the relationship between husbands’ observed reassurance seeking and wives’ rejection of husbands. Implications for the conceptualization of excessive reassurance seeking and for future research are discussed.
|Author||Lora A Smitham|
|Advisor||David A. Smith, PhD|
|Contributor||Gerald Haeffel, Committee Member|
|Contributor||David A. Smith, PhD, Committee Chair|
|Contributor||Alexandra F. Corning, PhD, Committee Member|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Departments and Units|