Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Brent Mattingly


Not all relationships are beneficial to the self-concept of individuals. However, many individuals remain committed to their partners even when their relationship is causing them to self-degrade. In fact, research shows that relationships can degrade individuals’ self-concept; one's conception of oneself; how a person views himself or herself (Mattingly et al., 2014). Relationships can both positively and negatively influence individuals’ self-concept; a concept that research proves plays a large role in romantic relationships. Additionally, research shows that when individuals experience relationship-induced changes to their self-concepts, they are likely to experience broad impacts on their overall functioning (McIntyre et al., 2015). Though many individuals in such relationships may avoid becoming more committed to their partners, we hypothesize that there are certain conditions in which individuals may maladaptively desire to strengthen their bonds to a degrading relationship. This research investigates whether attachment systems such as avoidance and anxiety affect individuals’ motivation to amplify their relationship when it is causing self-degradation. In this study, 247 romantically involved individuals completed measures of relational self-change, attachment, and commitment amplification. Results revealed that individuals high in attachment anxiety are more likely to amplify commitment in their relationship when it has caused them self-degradation, relative to counterparts with less attachment anxiety.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 24, 2024.

The downloadable file is a poster.


Available to Ursinus community only.