Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Laura May


In the context of romantic relationships, risk regulation refers to one’s constant struggle to balance connecting with one’s partner and protecting oneself from rejection (Murray, Holmes, & Collins, 2006). As previous research failed to directly assess the interrelationships between risk regulation, self-esteem, attachment style, and self-monitoring, the present study sought to determine how these constructs interconnect to affect patterns of connection and protection in romantic relationships. Results indicated that high and low self-monitors differ in levels of connection and protection in romantic relationships, specifically in terms of need to belong, and relationship anxiety. Attachment style also affected connection and protection patterns; specifically, preoccupied attachment was related to relationship anxiety, dependency, and need to belong, while dismissing attachment was related to relationship avoidance. Similarly, various combinations of attachment style, self-esteem, and self-monitoring predicted both connection factors (need to belong, dependency, and commitment) and protection factors (relationship anxiety and relationship avoidance).

Included in

Psychology Commons