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Emotional jealousy positively predicts relationship quality in fledgling (but not established) relationships

Öztekin, Hazal
Romantic jealousy and attachment anxiety have been found to have negative associations with relational outcomes such as lower satisfaction, trust and commitment. Previous research investigated these associations mostly for longterm relationships, current study aimed to fill the gap regarding fledgling relationships and investigate the role of anxiety and jealousy at different stages of the relationship. Fledgling relationships which are uncertain by their nature may provoke anxiety and jealousy. Those jealous and anxious behaviors may have a positive association with relationship quality at the beginning of the relationship as they could enhance proximity seeking behavior. Regarding the nature of fledgling relationships, the differences between fledgling and long-term relationships in terms of anxiety and jealousy were investigated. Also, the moderating role of relationship stage for the associations of anxiety and jealousy with relationship quality were tested. Two hundred and sixty two participants who were in a relationship for less than two months or more than a year were recruited (130 for the fledgling group, 132 for the long-term group). Participants completed the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised, Multidimensional Jealousy Scale and Perceived Relationship Quality Components Inventory in a laboratory setting. Results revealed that the fledgling group had higher levels of attachment anxiety and emotional jealousy than the long-term group. Also, only emotional jealousy was found to have a positive association with relationship quality in fledgling romantic relationships but no significant associations were found for long-term relationships. Even though the moderating role of relationship stage on the associations of jealousy and anxiety with relationship quality was pa rtially supported, current study supports the adaptive role of emotional jealousy in fledgling relationships.