Love, romantic obsession and friendship: key measuring factors in romantic relationships

Measuring love in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis

From Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Love is all around us, the experience of love is centrally important to close relationships. Because the concept of love can mean different things across different types of relationships (e.g. friends, children, romantic relationships), researchers have worked at developing models that allow differentiation between varying experiences of love. This study identifies the key factors underlying the most popular measures of love in use today through meta-analytic factor analysis. Findings reveal that general love, romantic obsession, and practical friendship are important measures in romantic relationships. Love was positively and obsession was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and length. The paper concludes by pointing towards the need for increased measurement methods in the field of love research.

 

Abstract

The present study identifies the higher-order factors underlying the most popular measures of love in use today through meta-analytic factor analysis. Eighty-one studies representing 103 samples and 19,387 individuals provided data for the meta-analysis. The reported correlations between several commonly-used measures of love were aggregated across studies to form a meta-analytic correlation matrix, which was then subjected to principle components analysis. Factors suggesting general love, romantic obsession, and practical friendship emerged. Love was positively and obsession was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and length.The results corroborate recent conceptualizations of love and point toward the need for measurement methods other than global self-report in the field of love research.

 

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Article details
Graham, J. (2010). Measuring love in romantic relationships: A meta-analysis Journal of Social and Personal Relationships DOI: 10.1177/0265407510389126

     
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