Respect in close relationships: Prototype definition, self-report assessment, and initial correlates


Jennifer R. Frei Department of Psychology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA


Researchers who study romantic relationships have mentioned respect as a factor contributing to relationship success, but little effort has been made to define respect, measure it, or discover how it relates to other relationship constructs. In Study 1 a prototype methodology was used to identify consensual features of respect. Participants in Study 2 rated the centrality of the features of respect and completed a new prototype-based respect-for-partner scale that was highly reliable and correlated in predictable ways with avoidant attachment and evaluative aspects of partner descriptions. In Study 3, the new respect scale predicted relationship satisfaction better than scales measuring liking, loving, attachment-related anxiety and avoidance, and positive and negative partner qualities. Suggestions are offered for future research on respect.