Organized by the systems theory concepts of equifinality and interdependence (Broderick, 1993) and Huston's (2000) social ecology model, this study examined two personality-based pathways to dating relationship quality among college students. The first pathway extends from family dysfunction to dating relationship quality via novelty seeking and excessive drinking. The second pathway extends from family dysfunction to relationship quality via harm avoidance and interpersonal competence. Male (n = 64) and female (n = 105) undergraduates completed questionnaires. The findings strongly supported the first hypothesis that was derived from Huston's social ecology model and the systems principle of equifinality. There were significant associations between adjacent variables in the path model and the presence of both pathways in the tested model provided a good fit to the data. The second hypothesis, based on the systems principle of interdependence, was not supported when cross-pathway links were included in the tested model. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science