The Effects of Deficits in Emotional Self-Regulation on Relationship Satisfaction in Young Adults
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Effective emotional self-regulation is essential for evaluating a situation, giving meaning to the experience and to regulate emotions in order to achieve a desired goal. Emotional selfregulation is an essential feature of executive functioning, which affects a number of functional domains across the lifespan and is specifically important for sustaining healthy interpersonal relationships. Research to date shows that adults with ADHD and emotional dysregulation have poor social relationships, due to a variety of problems such as: not following social norms, missing nonverbal cues, interrupting conversations, not following through with promises, appearing inpatient or rude, and not thinking before speaking. Despite these findings, there is minimal research on how these deficits affect romantic relationship satisfaction for young adults. This present study employed psychological self-report measures, as well as an experimental task designed to induce frustration, to better understand the interaction(s) between ADHD symptomology, executive functions, emotional self-regulation and romantic relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that ADHD symptomology and deficits in executive functions are related to greater emotional dysregulation. In addition, these three variables are related to lower levels of romantic relationship satisfaction. There are significant clinical implications for understanding these relationships. Primarily, one’s ability or lack thereof, to regulate emotions should be considered when examining executive functioning, specifically in the context of ADHD and its impact on romantic relationship satisfaction.
Harrell, Murphy, "The Effects of Deficits in Emotional Self-Regulation on Relationship Satisfaction in Young Adults" (2015). USC Aiken Psychology Theses. 14.