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Cross-Sex Best Friendships and the Experience and Expression of Jealousy within Romantic Relationships

  • Eletra Gilchrist-Petty (a1) and Lance Kyle Bennett (a2)

Abstract

This study investigated cross-sex best friendships in the experience and expression of jealousy within romantic relationships. Survey data (N = 346) revealed engaged-to-be-married individuals, compared to single, dating and married individuals, have the most negative attitudes regarding cross-sex best friendships. Results further indicated preventive jealousy experience is a predictor of rival-focused jealousy expression, and reactive jealousy experience is a predictor of both constructive and destructive jealousy expressions. Findings also suggest attitudes toward cross-sex best friendships can mediate the relationship between how jealousy is experienced and expressed in relation to reactive jealousy experience and destructive jealousy expression. Implications are discussed regarding how cross-sex best friendships can adversely affect romantic relationships.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Eletra Gilchrist-Petty, Department of Communication Arts, The University of Alabama Huntsville, CTC 212, Huntsville, AL, USA. Email: Eletra.Gilchrist@uah.edu

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