Relational Maintenance Tactics within Romantic Relationships During the Transition from High School to College
Does the transition between high school and college affect our interpersonal romantic relationships? How does the use of relational maintenance tactics change during this transition period? Researchers (e.g., Stafford & Merolla, 2007) have investigated long distance relationships and factors that predict their stability, mostly among young college students. However, further knowledge is needed regarding how couples negotiate their romantic relationship when moving from high school to college. Using an in-depth interview design, relational maintenance tactics used in both long distance and geographically close relationships occurring during this transition period will be studied to learn more about how this major life transition affects interpersonal romantic relationships. Canary and Stafford (1993) identified five relational maintenance tactics: Positivity, openness, assurance, networks and shared tasks. Participants will be asked about the maintenance tactics used in their relationship to further understand how life transitions affect the way relationships are maintained. College students, limited to those who began a romantic relationship in high school that continued into college, will be interviewed; both long distance and geographically close relationship are to be included. These interviews will be used to further understand relational maintenance tactics and the role major life transitions play in the maintenance of romantic relationships.