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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Department or Program Affiliation
Master of Science (MS)
Graham, James M., 1974-
Scollon, Christie Napa
King, Jeff J.
Though people express affection in a wide variety of ways, empirical investigations have yet to converge on one appropriate conceptualization of this construct. Furthermore, investigators have yet to explore what may predict these differences in preferences for different affection expressions. Because belief systems range both across the world and within cultures, we explored expressions of affection across and within cultures to understand how affection expressions may look and be predicted differently. To do this, we recruited 141 Ecuadorian participants through snowballing techniques in Ecuador and 182 United States participants through online snowballing techniques and through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. All participants completed a variety of measures including an original scale assessing preferences for expressing affection, the Romantic Beliefs Scale (Sprecher & Metts, 1989), The Implicit Theories of Romantic Relationships Scale (Knee, 1998), and a within-group measure of culture (Triandis & Gelfand, 1998). First, we conducted exploratory factor analyses within each sample to determine the best factor structure for affection preferences. Results suggest that a 2-Factor solution may best describe affection preferences in Ecuador, whereas a 4-Factor solution may be best in the United States. We then conducted correlational analyses and path analyses to determine how cultural beliefs, romantic relationship beliefs, and affection preferences related in both samples, respectively. Results reveal that different cultural and romantic relationship beliefs relate differently to preferences for different expressions of affection in different cultures. We discuss implications and future directions for this work.
Affection, Romantic Relationship Beliefs, Cultural Differences, Love Languages
Western Washington University
Subject – LCSH
Love--Cross-cultural studies; Interpersonal relations--United States; Interpersonal relations--Ecuador; Interpersonal relations and culture; Intimacy (Psychology)--Cross-cultural studies
United States; Ecuador
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.
Miska, Jenni, "American Affection and Ecuadorian Expression: Cultural Differences in Romantic Relationships" (2019). WWU Graduate School Collection. 862.