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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2015 2019


Stress in romantic relationships is an all-too-common phenomenon that has detrimental effects on relationship well-being. Specifically, stress can increase partners’ negative interactions, ultimately decreasing effective communication and overall relationship functioning. Positive dyadic coping (DC) occurs when one partner assists the other in coping with stress (e.g. empathizing or helping the partner problem-solve solutions to their stress), and has been proposed as a method of buffering the deleterious effect of stress on interaction quality. One possible mechanism between the positive associations between DC and interaction quality could be how partners verbally express their support (e.g., more we-talk) during discussions about external …

Contributors
Lau, Kin (Kevin), Randall, Ashley K, Duran, Nicholas, et al.
Created Date
2017

Individuals in a romantic relationship may avoid discussing certain topics with their partner, often to avoid relational and emotional risk. This strategy is known as topic avoidance and may be an important factor for individuals in turbulent romantic relationship to consider due to the importance of communicating with a partner. The associations between characteristics such as openness, relationship satisfaction, and perceived partner unresponsiveness, and topic avoidance have not been directly studied within dogmatism literature. However, dogmatism, defined as a person’s relative openness (or closedness) to new information, may be an important construct associated with topic avoidance that strengthens the associations …

Contributors
Mikel, Lindsay, Randall, Ashley K, Bludworth, James, et al.
Created Date
2019

Blended families including half siblings (brothers/sisters who share only one biological parent, most likely a product of divorce and remarriage) are becoming increasingly prevalent in Western societies. Studies have determined the negative outcomes of sharing only one biological parent on familial relationships, but less so on how half siblings may be resilient in the wake of restructuration and cultivate positive relationships overtime and into adulthood. This study applied a systems and resilience perspective to understand how blended family structure influences this unique sibling dyad. This research includes two studies. First, seventeen older half siblings who define their current sibling relationship …

Contributors
Oliver, Bailey Margaret, Alberts, Jess K, Waldron, Vincent R, et al.
Created Date
2018

Being married as an undergraduate student is uncommon, considering the average age people marry in the U.S. is 28-years-old. Given that the “traditional” undergraduate student is unmarried, being a married undergraduate student may be associated with the anticipation of stigma due to their marital status, which may be a stressful experience (hereafter-anticipated stigma stress) and have harmful effects on one’s well-being, particularly symptoms of anxiety. As such, it is important to identify ways in which romantic partners can help one another cope with this unique stressor by engaging in positive or negative dyadic coping (DC). Using cross-sectional data from 151 …

Contributors
Messerschmitt, Shelby, Randall, Ashley K, Pereira, Jennifer, et al.
Created Date
2017

The prevalence of chronic illness among children in the United States is on the rise (CDC, 2014). Having a child with a chronic illness can be a substantial source of stress for a couple, including physical, emotional, and financial demands of caregiving as well as difficult decision-making regarding the child’s health (Mayo Clinic, 2015). Coping with such stressors can have a negative effect on the couple’s well-being, and, if not managed within the relationship, can lead to increased negative outcomes for both partners. Partners can, however, learn to cope with stress by engaging in the coping process together with dyadic …

Contributors
Johnson, Courtney Kerber, Randall, Ashley K, Robinson-Kurpius, Sharon, et al.
Created Date
2016

Emotional support messages can benefit recipients; however, verbal and nonverbal aspects of these messages can vary in effectiveness, and the process of communicating support can be stressful to some supporters. One potential behavior that may yield more effective support messages for recipients while reducing anxiety and stress for supporters is message planning. Thus, planning theory is used to test whether planning influences message effectiveness, nonverbal delivery of messages, self-reported anxiety, and physiological stress markers. Additionally, an individual’s trait-level reticence and prior support experiences are predicted to moderate the effects of message planning. One hundred laboratory participants were assigned to either …

Contributors
Ray, Colter Dylan, Floyd, Kory W, Mongeau, Paul A, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals are exposed to specific stressors due to their sexual minority status. One such stressor may result from the negative family reactions to one’s romantic partner. Encountering this stress may be especially harmful for LGB individuals’ emotional well-being, as it could be considered a “double rejection”: that of their partner and possibly their own sexual orientation. The stress surrounding family members’ negative attitudes about their partner may affect how one feels about their partner. Furthermore, there may be individual differences that affect how an individual may perceive and respond to this stress. Specifically, one’s attachment …

Contributors
Borders, Jessica, Randall, Ashley K, Pereira, Jennifer K, et al.
Created Date
2017

Descriptions of gray divorce often include consequences for young adult children who are increasingly being left to cope with their parents’ decision. Adult children of divorce may experience different stressors and reactions than younger children especially during holidays; moreover, their increased social awareness leaves their parental relationship vulnerable to rupture as a result of pressure to choose sides. Interventions for helping young adults cope with their parents’ break-up are rarely described, much less evaluated. An online delivery format would be especially well-suited given the possibility of in-home participation at any time of day with privacy assured and negligible cost. We …

Contributors
Shanholtz, Caroline Elizabeth, Horan, John J, Randall, Ashley K, et al.
Created Date
2016

Receiving support from intimate others is important to individual well-being across the lifespan. However, the role of support in adolescent romantic relationships has not been investigated extensively. Using two studies, this dissertation utilized data from N = 111 adolescent couples collected as part of the Adolescents, Schools, Peers, and Interpersonal Relationships (ASPIRE) to investigate the implications of support for adolescents’ relationship quality, and positive behavioral adjustment. The first study expanded on existing research by investigating whether support given in response to a partner’s experience of a stressful event, and gauged from the perspective of the support recipient, was associated with …

Contributors
Poulsen, Franklin, Christopher, F Scott, Iida, Masumi, et al.
Created Date
2016

The demands and expectations of graduate school can be stressful for any student. Graduate students in a romantic relationship, in particular, contend with both individual and dyadic effects of graduate school stress, as stress has been found to be negatively associated with both individual and relational well-being. Asymmetrical graduate student couples, wherein one partner is in graduate school and the other is not, may be particularly vulnerable to relationship strain because of differences in their experience of graduate school. However, non-student partners can help the graduate student cope with stress through dyadic coping. This study sought to examine whether: a) …

Contributors
Segraves, Megan, Randall, Ashley K, Bernstein, Bianca, et al.
Created Date
2017