New Directions in the Psychology of Intimate Relations:
Research and Theory

Chapter 4:
The Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire:
Psychological Dispositions Associated
with Intimate Relations

William E. Snell, Jr., Michelle Schicke, and Tracy Arbeiter
Southeast Missouri State University

 

        Acknowledgments.  Portions of these data were presented at the 36th annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association, Dallas, TX.  Also, gratitude is extended to XXX-Editor (xxx) and two anonymous reviewers for their peer-review commentary (this chapter was previously published in the xxxxxxx).

       
Proper citation:   Snell, W. E., Jr., Schicke, M., & Arbeiter, T.  (2002).  Cha
pter 4:  
The Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire:  Psychological Dispositions Associated with Intimate Relations In W. E. Snell, Jr. (Ed.), New directions in the psychology of intimate relations:  Research and theory. Cape Girardeau, MO: Snell Publications. WEB: http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/snell/books/intimate/intimate.htm.
     

Abstract

          The purpose of the investigation described in Chapter 4 was to develop and validate an instrument designed to measure psychological tendencies associated with intimate relationships, the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ).  Results indicated that the MRQ subscales had high internal and test-retest reliability.  Additionally it was found that a standardized measure of relationship satisfaction was associated with the MRQ subscales; both females and males reported being more satisfied with their intimate relationships to the extent that they reported greater relational-esteem and relational-motivation, and lower relational-anxiety, relational-depression, external-relational-control, and fear of intimate relationships.  The MRQ was also associated with whether people took exchange and communal perspectives toward their relationships, with the pattern of findings varying by gender.  Other results indicated that women and men responded in unique ways to the MRQ subscales, with women reporting greater relational-esteem, internal-relational-control, relational-consciousness, relational-motivation, relational-monitoring, and relational-satisfaction; and men reporting greater external relational control.

 

Chapter 4:
The Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire:
Psychological Dispositions Associated
with Intimate Relations

         In recent times many researchers have begun to focus their attention more directly on individual tendencies that influence people's intimate relationships.  Snyder and his colleagues (1974, 1979; Snyder, Berscheid, & Glick, 1985; Snyder, Gangestad, & Simpson, 1983), for example, have found that intimate relationships are influenced by self-monitoring, defined as the tendency to be especially concerned about the social appropriateness of one's behavior.  In addition, Rubin and his colleagues (Swap & Rubin, 1983; Major & Adams, 1983) have recently examined the impact of "interpersonal orientation" on men's and women's intimate relationship.  People with higher interpersonal orientation scores, those who were very interested in and extremely responsive to others, distributed rewards equally between themselves and their partners (Swap & Rubin, 1983).  Ickes and his associates likewise have shown that gender and gender roles exert an influence on men's and women's intimate interactions (Ickes & Barnes, 1977, 1978).  Specifically, they found that the enactment of traditional gender roles by men and women led to incompatibility in their relationships.  All of this research clearly indicates that the study of individual tendencies has contributed to a greater understanding of men's and women's intimate relationships.

         The purpose of the present research was to broaden this "individual tendency" approach to the study of intimacy by constructing and validating a multidimensional measure of individual, psychological tendencies associated with men's and women's intimate relationships.  To accomplish this goal, the literature on personality and intimacy was canvassed to identify those tendencies which would seem to have the greatest likelihood of impacting men's and women's intimate relationships (e.g., Hendrick, 1988; Scanzoni & Arnett, 1987; Levenson, 1974; Walkey, 1979).  Table 1 shows a list of the individual tendencies (and their definitions) that were identified as a result of this review.


Table   1
Labels and Definitions for the Subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire


MRQ Subscales

Definitions

Related Concepts


1.

Relational-Esteem

A generalized tendency to positively evaluate one's capacity to relate intimately with another person.

Rosenberg (1965); Snell (1990); Snell & Papini (1989)

2.

Relational-Preoccupation

The tendency to become absorbed in, obsessed with, and engrossed with the intimate aspects of one's life.

Collins & Clark (1989); Snell (1990); Snell & Papini (1989)

3.

Internal Relational Control

The belief that the intimate aspects of one's life are determined by one's own personal control.

Levenson (1974); Snell & Fisher (1990); Snell, Johnson, Lloyd, & Hoover (in press)

4.

Relational-Consciousness

The tendency to think about and to reflect about the nature of one's intimate relationships.

Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss (1975); Buss (1980); Snell, Fisher, & Miller (1990); Snell (1990)

5.

Relational-Motivation

The desire to be involved and to seek involvement in an intimate relationship.

McAdams (1985); Snell & Fisher (1990); Snell et al (in press)

6.

Relational-Anxiety

The tendency to feel tension, discomfort, and anxiety about one's intimate relationships.

Janda & O'Grady (1980); Snell & Fisher (1990); Snell (1990)

7.

Relational-Assertiveness

The tendency to be assertive about the intimate aspects of one's life.

Snell & Fisher (1990); Snell,  Fisher, & Miller (1990);

8.

Relational-Depression

The tendency to feel depressed about the status of one's intimate relationship.

Snell (1990); Beck (1976); Snell & Papini (1989)

9.

External Relational Control

The belief that intimate relationships are determined by influences outside of one's personal control (e.g., chance).

Levenson (1974); Snell & Fisher (1990); Snell et al. (in press)

10.

Relational-Monitoring

The tendency to be aware of the public image which one's intimate relationship makes on others.

Snyder (1974, 1989); Snell (1990); Snell, Fisher, & Miller (1990)

11.

Fear of Intimate Relationships

A fear of engaging in an intimate relationship with another individual.

Gilligan (1982); Snell & Fisher (1990)

12.

Relational-Satisfaction

The tendency to be highly satisfied with one's intimate relationship.

Hendrick (1988); Snell & Fisher (1990)


 

         After these psychological tendencies were identified, items were written to measure each concepts.  Data was then collected on the items constituting the subscales, and the resulting instrument was labeled the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ).  The present research presents the reliability and validity results for the MRQ.  Evidence for the validity of the MRQ was obtained in the current research by using Hendrick's (1988) measure of relationship satisfaction and Clark's (1988; Clark et al., 1987) measure of communal and exchange orientations toward intimate relationships.  It was anticipated that the relationship orientations assessed by the MRQ would influence whether men and women take a communal and exchange orientation toward others, as well as how satisfied these individuals would be with their close relationships.

Method

Participants and Procedure

         Data was collected from undergraduates (117 males; 265 females; 4 gender-unspecified) at a small midwestern university.  Subjects first responded to the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ), and then they were asked to complete Clark's (1988; Clark et al., 1987) measures of communal and exchange orientations and Hendrick's (1988) measure of relationship satisfaction.  Four weeks later, the students were re-administered the MRQ.  The number of subjects occasionally varies in the following analyses due to missing data on a few items.

         Clark's Measures.  Clark and her colleagues have developed independent measures of communal and exchange approaches to others (Clark et al., 1987; Clark et al., 1989).  The instruments are uncontaminated by social desirability influences and have acceptable internal and test-retest reliability.  In the present investigation, higher scores indicated a stronger communal and exchange approach to others, respectively.

         Relationship Satisfaction.  Hendrick (1988) developed the Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS) to measure relationship satisfaction.  The RAS consists of 7 items (e.g., In general, how satisfied are you with your relationship; How good is your relationship compared to most), scored on a 5-point Likert scale.  In Hendrick's (1988) scale development project, all of the RAS items loaded on a single factor solution (principle-components factor analysis).  The instrument correlated with several intimate aspects of relationships (e.g., love, commitment), predicted whether couples would separate, and had a reliability of .86.  In this study higher scores corresponded to greater relationship satisfaction.

Results

Psychometric Results

         Reliability The reliability results for the subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire are reported in Table 2.  As an inspection of this table clearly indicates, the subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire have high internal reliability among both males and females.  Specifically, the Cronbach alphas ranged from a low of .68 for male (.70 for females) to a high of .92 for males (.93 for females), average for males = .83 (average for females = .85).  Also, this table indicates preliminary evidence for the test-retest reliability for the 12 MRQ subscales (average r = .72).  In summary, the reliability coefficients were quite acceptable, thus justifying the use of the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire in the results reported below.

 

Table   2

Reliability Coefficients for the Subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire


Multidimensional

                 Cronbach Alphas

Test-

Relationship


Retest

Subscales

Males

Females

Combined

Reliability


1.

Relationship Esteem

.90

.88

.89

.75

2.

Relationship Preoccupation

.89

.93

.92

.72

3.

Internal Relationship Control

.74

.72

.73

 .58

4.

Relationship Consciousness

.68

.70

.71

 .66

5.

Relationship Motivation

.90

.86

.88

.75

6.

Relationship Anxiety

.82

.87

.86

.77

7.

Relationship Assertiveness

.71

.84

.82

.73

8.

Relationship Depression

.88

.93

.92

.74

9.

External Relationship Control

.85

.81

.83

 .69

10.

Relationship Monitoring

.86

.90

.90

 .74

11.

Fear of Intimate Relationships

.79

.83

.82

 .74

12.

Relationship Satisfaction

.92

.93

 .92

.79


Note.  Each subscale consists of five items.  N for males = 116; N for females = 263; N for total sample = 379.

                 

 

         IntercorrelationsThe correlations among the 12 subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) are shown in Table 3.  An inspection of this table indicates that a wide variety of findings were found, such that some of the MRQ subscales were positively correlated (e.g., external relationship control and relationship-depression) while others were negatively associated (e.g., relationship-esteem and relationship-anxiety) with one another.  Additionally, it was found that a number of the MRQ subscales were totally independent of each other (e.g., relationship-esteem and relationship-preoccupation).
 

Table  3

Correlations among the Subscales on the MRQ Among Females and Males


MRQ Subscales

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Relationship

.---

.14+

.48d

.42d

.49d

 -.38d

.53d

-.38d

-.21d

.03

-.64d

.71d

 

Esteem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Relationship

-.02

.---

.39d

.62d

.51d

.36d

 .14

.29d

.18a

.23b

-.01

.03

 

Preoccupation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Internal

.33d

.14a

.---

.53d

.49d

 -.02

.61d

.00

-.01

.11

-.31d

.37d

 

Relationship Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Relationship

.26d

.63d

.41d

.---

.61d

 .12

.25c

.05

-.02

.24c

-.23b

.28d

 

Consciousness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Relationship

.30d

.52d

.33d

.58d

 .---

-.05

.37d

-.06

-.13

.04

-.48d

.37d

 

Motivation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

Relationship

-.54d

.41d

-.08

.10a

-.01

.---

-.37d

.53d

.38d

.31d

.60d

-.37d

 

Anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

Relationship

.55d

.04

.42d

.26d

.29d

-.39d

 .---

-.11

-.25c

-.17a

-.39d

.39d

 

Assertiveness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

Relationship

-.51d

.31d

-.09+

.03

-.05

.59d

 -.27d

.---

.37d

.18a

.37d

-.63d

 

Depression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

External

-.22d

.30d

-.16c

.05

-.04

.39d

 -.24d

.38d

.---

.26c

.37d

-.26c

 

Relationship Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.

Relationship

-.19d

.29d

.05

.28d

.08+

 .40d

-.12a

.14a

.22d

.---

.13+

-.01

 

Monitoring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Fear of Intimate

-.57d

.18d

-.18c

-.01

-.25d

.72d

 -.47d

.57d

.33d

.32d

.---

-.49d

 

Relationships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Relationship

.59d

-.12a

.24d

.16c

.26d

 -.50d

.39d

-.83d

-.30d

-.10+

-.56d

.---

 

Satisfaction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Note.     Higher scores on the MRQ correspond to a greater amount of the relevant relationship tendency.   Data for males are above the diagonal; data for females are below the diagonal.  N = 116 for males; n = 264 for females.

+p < .10.     ap < .05.     bp < .01.    cp < .005.     dp < .001.

 

         Gender Effects.  Table 4 presents the means on the 12 MRQ subscales for males and females.  The multivariate effect for gender was statistically significant, F(12, 366) = 4.58, p < .001.  An inspection of this table indicates that females reported higher scores than males on the measures of relational-esteem, internal relational control, relational-consciousness, relational-motivation, relational-monitoring and relational-satisfaction.  By contrast, males reported a higher score than females on the measure of external-relational-control.  Men's and women's scores on the remaining MRQ subscales were quite similar:  relational-depression, relational anxiety, relational assertiveness, relational-depression, and fear of intimate relationships.

 

Table  4

Means on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) for Females and Males


 

Multidimensional

             Gender

 

 

 

Relationship


           F

 

 

Subscales

 Males

 Females

        (1, 377)

 


1.

Relationship Esteem

12.52

13.88

 8.50c

 

2.

Relationship Preoccupation

7.72

7.78

<1

 

3.

Internal Relationship Control

11.25

12.06

 4.61a

 

4.

Relationship Consciousness

11.21

13.01

 20.22d

 

5.

Relationship Motivation

11.78

13.35

 8.65c

 

6.

Relationship Anxiety

5.97

6.10

<1

 

7.

Relationship Assertiveness

11.07

11.41

<1

 

8.

Relationship Depression

5.52

4.53

 2.97+

 

9.

External Relationship Control

6.47

5.07

 9.18c

 

10.

Relationship Monitoring

7.64

8.96

 6.01a

 

11.

Fear of Intimate Relationships

7.08

7.30

 <1

 

12.

Relationship Satisfaction

11.24

13.01

 7.53b

 


Note.    Higher scores on the MRQ subscales correspond to a greater amount of the relevant relationship tendency.  Subscale score range = 0 to 20.  N for males = 116; for females, n = 263.  MANOVA-F(12, 366) = 4.58, p < .001.

+p < .10.          ap < .05.           bp < .01.         cp < .005.         dp < .001.

 

Validity

         Communal and Exchange Orientations.  Table 5 presents the correlations between the subscales on the MRQ and Clark's (1988; Clark et al., 1987) measures of communal and exchange orientations toward intimate relationships for both males and females.  An inspection of this tables indicates that among males an exchange orientation toward relationships was positively associated with external-relational-control, relational-anxiety, and fear of intimate relationships; and negatively associated with internal relational control.  By contrast, males with a communal orientation toward relationships reported higher levels of relational-esteem, relational-preoccupation, internal-relational-control, relational consciousness, and relational-motivation; and lower levels of relational-depression and fear of intimate relationships.

         Several statistically significant relationships were also found for the female subjects.  More specifically, it was found that women with a greater exchange orientation toward relationships were characterized by higher scores on the relationship-preoccupation, the relationship-anxiety, the relationship-depression, and the relational-monitoring subscales.  In contrast, females with a communal orientation reported higher levels of relationship-esteem, internal-relational-control, relationship-consciousness, relationship-motivation, and relationship-satisfaction; but lower scores on the MRQ measure of relationship-anxiety, relational-depression, and fear of intimate relationships.

 

Table   5

Correlations between the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire and Clark's (1988; Clark et al., 1987) Measures of Communal and Exchange Orientations Toward Relationships Among Both Males and Females


 

Multidimensional

             Exchange

        Communal

 

Relationship



 

Subscales

Males

Females

Both

Males

 Females

Both


1.

Relationship Esteem

-.13+

-.09+

-.11a

.20a

.18c

.22d

2.

Relationship Preoccupation

.15+

.24d

.21d

.18a

-.03

 .02

3.

Internal Relationship Control

-.16a

-.01

-.06

.16a

 .10a

.15c

4.

Relationship Consciousness

-.11

.06

-.01

.24c

.24d

 .30d

5.

Relationship Motivation

-.08

.05

.01

.33d

.14a

 .23d

6.

Relationship Anxiety

.24c

.16c

.18d

-.13+

-.18c

-.15c

7.

Relationship Assertiveness

-.10

-.02

-.04

.12+

.07

 .08+

8.

Relationship Depression

.01

.11a

.09a

-.17a

-.15b

 -.17d

9.

External Relationship Control

.18a

.10+

.14c

-.08

 -.10+

-.14c

10.

Relationship Monitoring

.10

.19d

.15d

.08

.08

 .12b

11.

Fear of Intimate Relationships

.23b

.09+

.13b

-.25c

 -.11a

-.13b

12.

Relationship Satisfaction

-.08

-.08+

-.09a

.10

.18c

 .19d


Note.  Higher scores on the MRQ subscales correspond to a greater amount of the relevant relationship tendency.  N = 114 for males; n = 260 for females; n = 374 for total sample.

+p < .10.           ap < .05.          bp < .01.          cp < .005.          dp < .001.

                         

 

         Relationship Satisfaction.  Table 6 presents the correlations between the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire and Hendrick's (1988) measure of relationship satisfaction.  This table reveals that the following subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire were correlated with Hendrick's measure of relationship satisfaction among the male subjects:  (positive correlations) relationship-esteem, relationship-assertiveness, and the MRQ measure of relationship-satisfaction; (negative correlations) relationship anxiety, relationship depression, external-relational-control, and fear of intimate relationship.  Among females, it was found that higher levels of relationship-satisfaction (Hendrick's measure) were positively associated with relationship-esteem, internal relationship control, relationship motivation, relationship-assertiveness, and the MRQ measure of relationship-satisfaction; and negatively associated with relational-preoccupation, relationship-anxiety, relationship-depression, external relationship control, and fear of intimate relationships.

 

Table   6

Correlations between the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) and Hendrick's (1988) Measure of Relationship Satisfaction Among Females and Males


 

Multidimensional

             Relationship Satisfaction

 

Relationship


 

Questionnaire

Males              Females         Combined


1.

Relationship Esteem

.40d

.43d

.44d

 

2.

Relationship Preoccupation

.05

-.11a

-.06

 

3.

Internal Relationship Control

.09

.11a

 .12b

 

4.

Relationship Consciousness

.14+

.10+

.15c

 

5.

Relationship Motivation

.22a

.24d

.25d

 

6.

Relationship Anxiety

-.26c

-.39d

-.35d

 

7.

Relationship Assertiveness

.17a

.18c

.18d

 

8.

Relationship Depression

-.56d

-.69d

-.66d

 

9.

External Relationship Control

-.23b

-.24d

 -.26d

 

10.

Relationship Monitoring

-.05

-.05

-.02

 

11.

Fear of Intimate Relationships

-.31d

-.42d

 -.37d

 

12.

Relationship Satisfaction

.66d

.72d

.71d

 


NoteN for males = 114; n for females = 259; n for total sample = 373.

+p < .10.           ap < .05.          bp < .01.          cp < .005.          dp < .001.

 

 

Discussion

         The purpose of the present investigation was to construct and validate a measure of psychological, individual tendencies associated with men's and women's intimate relationships.  This was accomplished by developing an objective, self-report instrument consisting of twelve subscales, the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ).  The research reported the present investigation provided evidence that the subscales on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) had sufficiently high reliability to warrant their use in future research on intimate relationships.  In addition, the present investigation revealed that the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire was associated with Clark's (1988; Clark et al., 1987) measure of communal and exchange orientations toward relationships and with Hendrick's (1988) measure of relationship satisfaction.

         One of the most important aspects of the present investigation is that the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) holds the promise for increasing our understanding of men's and women's intimate relationships.  The brevity of the MRQ (i.e., it is brief and easy to administer) is a particular advantage that should promote its use and thereby facilitate increased insight into the nature of men's and women's intimacy.  In addition, it is expected that the variety of individual difference tendencies assessed by the MRQ will help the investigation of personality tendencies on men's and women's intimate relationships.
 


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Walkey, F. H.  (1979).  Internal control, powerful others, and change:  A confirmation of Levenson's factor structure.  Journal of Personality Assessment, 43, 532-535.

 


The Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire

 

SURVEY

INSTRUCTIONS:  Listed below are several statements that concern the topic of intimate relationships.  For the purpose of this questionnaire, an intimate relationship should be thought of as a close relationship with a single partner in which there is some sexual attraction.  Please read each of the following statements carefully and decide to what extent it is characteristic of you.  Some of the items refer to a specific intimate relationship.  Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in mind.  If you are not currently dating anyone, answer the questions with your most recent partner in mind.  If you have never had an intimate relationship, answer in terms of what you think your responses would most likely be.  Then, for each statement fill in the response on the answer sheet that indicates how much it applies to you by using the following scale:

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                                                A  =  Not at all characteristic of me.

                                                B  =  Slightly characteristic of me.

                                                C  =  Somewhat characteristic of me.

                                                D  =  Moderately characteristic of me.

                                                E  =  Very characteristic of me.

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NOTE:        Remember to respond to all items, even if you are not completely sure. 

                  Your answers will be kept in the strictest confidence. 

                  Also, please be honest in responding to these statements.

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 1.  I am confident about myself as an intimate partner.

 2.  I think about intimate relationships all the time.

 3.  My intimate relationships are something that I am largely responsible for.

 4.  I reflect about my intimate relationships a lot.

 5.  I'm very motivated to be involved in an intimate relationship.

 6.  Intimate relationships make me feel nervous and anxious.

 7.  I'm very assertive in my intimate relationships.

 8.  I feel depressed about my intimate relationship.

 9.  My intimate relationships are determined mostly by chance happenings.

10.  I'm concerned about what other people think of my intimate relationships.

11.  I am somewhat afraid of becoming intimately involved with a partner.

12.  I am very satisfied with the way my intimate needs are currently being met.

13.  I think of myself as a pretty good intimate partner.

14.  I think about intimate relationships more that anything else.

15.  My intimate relationships are determined in large part by my own behavior.

16.  I usually spend time thinking about my intimate relationships.

17.  I'm strongly motivated to devote time and effort to an intimate relationship.

18.  I am somewhat awkward and tense in intimate relationships.

19.  I'm very direct about voicing preferences in my intimate relationships.

20.  I feel unhappy about my intimate relationship.

21.  Most things that affect my intimate relationships happen to me by accident.

22.  I'm concerned about the way my intimate relationships are presented to others.

23.  I sometimes have a fear of intimate relationships.

24.  I am very satisfied with my intimate relationship.

25.  I am better at intimate relationships than most other people.

26.  I tend to be preoccupied with intimate relationships.

27.  I exert a great deal of control over my intimate relationships.

28.  I'm always trying to understand by intimate relationships.

29.  I have a strong desire to be involved in an intimate relationship.

30.  I feel nervous when I interact with a partner in an intimate relationship.

31.  I am somewhat passive about expressing my desires in intimate relationships.

32.  I feel discouraged about my intimate relationship.

33.  Luck plays a big part in influencing the nature of my intimate relationships.

34.  I usually worry about the impression my intimate relationships have on others.

35.  On occasion, I am fearful of intimate involvement with a partner.

36.  My intimate relationship meets my original expectations.

37.  I would rate myself pretty favorably as an intimate partner.

38.  I'm constantly thinking about being in an intimate relationship.

39.  The main thing which affects my intimate relationships is what I myself do.

40.  I'm very alert to changes in my intimate relationships.

41.  It's really important to me that I involve myself in an intimate relationship.

42.  I am more anxious about intimate relationships than most people are.

43.  I do not hesitate to ask for what I want in an intimate  relationship.

44.  I feel disappointed about my intimate relationship.

45.  My intimate relationships are largely a matter of fortune (good or bad).

46.  I'm usually alert to other's reactions to my intimate relationships.

47.  I don't have very much fear about being involved in an intimate relationship.

48.  My intimate relationship is very good compared to most.

49.  I would be very confident in an intimate relationship.

50.  I think about intimate relationships the majority of the time.

51.  My intimate relationships are something that I myself am in charge of.

52.  I'm very aware of the nature in my intimate relationships.

53.  I strive to keep myself involved in an intimate relationship.

54.  I feel inhibited and shy in an intimate relationship.

55.  When it comes to intimate relationships, I usually ask for what I want.

56.  I feel sad when I think about my intimate relationship.

57.  The nature of my intimate relationships is really a matter of fate or destiny.

58.  I usually notice the way that others react to my intimate relationships.

59.  I'm not very afraid of becoming involved in an intimate relationship.

60.  I am very satisfied with the intimate aspects of my life.

61.  I responded to the above items based on:

                 (A) My current relationship.

                 (B) A past close relationship.

                 (C) An imagined close relationship.

 


 

Scoring Instructions for the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:  The Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ) consists of twelve intimacy-oriented subscales, each containing five items.  The labels, descriptions, and items for each of these subscales are listed below:

 

1. Relationship Esteem:  The Relationship Esteem (RE) items concern a generalized tendency to positively evaluate one's capacity to relate intimately with another partner.  This subscale was designed to measure the extent to which people derive a sense of esteem from the intimate aspects of their life, and the extent to which they feel confident about their intimate relationships.  It concerns one's sense of adequacy as an intimate partner and is embodied in such questions as, Do we feel positive about ourself as an intimate partner?  Do we feel confident and assured as an intimate partner?  Relationship esteem concerns how we feel about ourselves in regard to our intimate relationships.  People who endorse these items are those who feel good about their relationship potential; they derive positive esteem from their intimate relationships and they have an air of confidence that their ability to relate intimately to another person is acceptable.

 

          1.        I am confident about myself as an intimate partner.

         13.        I think of myself as a pretty good intimate partner.

         25.        I am better at intimate relationships than most other people.

         37.        I would rate myself pretty favorable as an intimate partner.

         49.        I would be very confident in an intimate relationship.

 

 2.  Relationship Preoccupation:  Relationship Preoccupation (RP) is defined as the tendency to become absorbed in, obsessed with, and engrossed with the intimate aspects of one's life, to the extent that one virtually excludes from one's mind thoughts of other matters.  People who report higher scores on the relationship preoccupation scale tend to be obsessed with intimacy.

 

          2.        I think about intimate relationships all the time.

         14.        I think about intimate relationships more than anything else.

         26.        I tend to be preoccupied with intimate relationships.

         38.        I'm constantly thinking about being in an intimate relationship.

         50.        I think about intimate relationships the majority of the time.

 

 3.  Internal Relationship Control:  The items on the Internal Relationship Control (IRC) subscale refer to people's belief that the intimate aspects of their life are determined by their own personal control.  More specifically, these items were designed to measure people's expectation that they themselves can exert an influence on their intimate relationships.  People who endorse these items are those who believe that they can determine whether the nature and quality of their intimate relationships.

 

          3.        My intimate relationships are something that I am largely responsible for.

         15.        My intimate relationships are determined in large part by my own behavior.

         27.        I exert a great deal of control over my intimate relationships.

         39.        The main thing which affects my intimate relationships is what I myself do.

         51.        My intimate relationships are something that I myself am in charge of.

 

4.  Relationship Consciousness:  The items on the Relationship Consciousness (RC) subscale refer to an awareness of the internal aspects of one's intimate relationships.  These items were designed to people's tendency to think about and to reflect about the nature of their intimate relationships.  People who endorse these items are those who introspect about their intimate relationships, who examine their intimacy-related desires and motives, and who in general are reflective about the nature of their intimate relationships.

 

          4.        I reflect about my intimate relationships a lot.

         16.        I usually spend time thinking about my intimate relationships.

         28.        I'm always trying to understand my intimate relationships.

         40.        I'm very alert to changes in my intimate relationships.

         52.        I'm very aware of the nature in my intimate relationships.

 

5.  Relationship Motivation:  The items on the Relationship Motivation (RM) subscale refer to the motivation to pursue intimate activity in one's life.  More specifically, these items were designed to measure people's motivation to be involved in an intimate relationship.  People who endorse these items are those who are motivated to attend to the intimate aspects of their close relationships, to engage in intimate activities involving themselves and their partner, and to strive to maintain the development of their intimate relationships.

 

          5.        I'm very motivated to be involved in an intimate relationship.

         17.        I'm strongly motivated to devote time and effort to an intimate relationship.

         29.        I have a strong desire to be involved in an intimate relationship.

         41.        It's really important to me that I involve myself in an intimate relationship.

         53.        I strive to keep myself involved in an intimate relationship.

 

 6.  Relationship Anxiety:  The items on the Relationship Anxiety (RA) subscale refer to anxious feelings associated with the intimate aspects of one's life.  More specifically, these times were designed to tap people's feelings of tension, discomfort and anxiety about their intimate relationships.  People who endorse these items are those who experience chronic anxiety as a result of thinking about the intimate aspects of their close relationships.

 

          6.        Intimate relationships make me feel nervous and anxious.

         18.        I am somewhat awkward and tense in intimate relationships.

         30.        I feel nervous when I interact with a partner in an intimate relationship.

         42.        I am more anxious about intimate relationships than most people are.

         54.        I feel inhibited and shy in an intimate relationship.

 

7.  Relationship Assertiveness:  The items on the Relationship Assertiveness (RA) subscale refer to the personality tendency of being assertive about the intimate aspects of one's life.  In particular, the items on this subscale were designed to measure the characteristic of being intimately assertive (i.e., decisive about one's intimate relationships and self-reliant about the pursuit and fulfillment of one's intimate relationships.  People who have high scores on the relationships assertiveness subscale have a behavioral predisposition to be agentic and instrumental in the fulfillment of their intimate desires and motivations.  They tend to take an instrumental, self-directed orientation to their intimacy relationships and they tend to rely more on themselves than on others in making decisions about their relationship satisfaction.

 

          7.        I'm very assertive in my intimate relationships.

         19.        I'm very direct about voicing preferences in my intimate relationships.

         31.        I am somewhat passive about expressing my desires in intimate relationships.

         43.        I do not hesitate to ask for what I want in an intimate relationship.

         55.        When it comes to intimate relationships, I usually ask for what I want.

 

 8.  Relationship Depression:  Relationship Depression (RD) is defined as a tendency to evaluate one's intimate relationship in a negative fashion and to feel depressed about the status on one's intimate relationship.

 

          8.        I feel depressed about my intimate relationship.

         20.        I feel unhappy about my intimate relationship.

         32.        I feel discouraged about my intimate relationship.

         44.        I feel disappointed about my intimate relationship.

         56.        I feel sad when I think about my intimate relationship.

 

 9.  External Relationship Control:  The items on the External Relationship Control (ERC) subscale refer to people's belief that their intimate relationships are determined by experiences and influences outside of their personal control.  More specifically, these items were designed to measure people's expectation that their intimate relationships are largely determined by forces which they themselves can neither anticipate nor influence.  People who endorse these items are those who believe that their intimate relationships are not controlled by themselves, rather that the intimate aspects of their lives is under the influence of factors external to themselves.

          9.        My intimate relationships are determined mostly by chance happenings.

         21.        Most things that affect my intimate relationships happen to me by accident.

         33.        Luck plays a big part in influencing the nature of my intimate relationships.

         45.        My intimate relationships are largely a matter of fortune (good or bad).

         57.        The nature of my intimate relationships is really a matter of fate or destiny.

 

10.  Relationship Monitoring:  The items on the Relationship Monitoring (RM) subscale refer to an awareness of other people's reactions to one's intimate relationships.  More specifically, these items were designed to people's public concern about the image which their intimate relationships projects to others.  People who endorse these items are those who are concerned about the appearance of their intimate relationships and with the impression their intimate relationships makes on others.

 

         10.        I'm concerned about what other people think of my intimate relationships.

         22.        I'm concerned about the way my intimate relationships are presented to others.

         34.        I usually worry about the impression my intimate relationships have on others.

         46.        I'm usually alert to others' reactions to my intimate relationships.

         58.        I usually notice the way that others react to my intimate relationships.

 

11.  Fear of Relationship:  The items on the Fear of Relationship (FR) subscale concerns people's fear of engaging in an intimate relationship with another individual.  More specifically, these items were designed to measure the extent to which people are afraid of intimate activity.  People who endorse these items report that they experience feelings of fear as a result of intimacy.

 

         11.        I am somewhat afraid of becoming intimately involved with a partner.

         23.        I sometimes have a fear of intimate relationships.

         35.        On occasion, I am fearful of intimate involvement with a partner.

         47.        I don't have very much fear about being involved in an intimate relationship.

         59.        I'm not very afraid of becoming involved in an intimate relationship.

 

12.  Relationship Satisfaction:  The items on the Relationship Satisfaction (RS) subscale concerns people's assessment of the status of their intimacy needs.  More specifically, these items were designed to measure the extent to which people indicate that their intimate needs are currently being met.  People who endorse these items believe that they are highly satisfied with their intimate relationships.

 

         12.        I am very satisfied with the way my intimate needs are currently being met.

         24.        I am very satisfied with my intimate relationship.

         36.        My intimate relationship meets my original expectations.

         48.        My intimate relationship is very good compared to most.

         60.        I am very satisfied with the intimate aspects of my life.

 

 

 

CODING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ITEMS

on the Multidimensional Relationship Questionnaire (MRQ)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:  Any items designated with (R) are recoded so that A = E, B = D, C = C, D = B, and E = A.  Then the items are scored so that A = 0; B = 1; C = 2; D = 3; and E = 4.  Next, they are summed for each subscale so that higher scores correspond to greater amounts of the relevant tendency.

 


Copyright   2002
 William E. Snell, Jr., Ph.D.
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