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Abstract

A definition of romantic jealousy as a complex of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors resulting from threats to one's self-esteem and/or relationship is developed. A variety of potential correlates of romantic jealousy consistent with this definition were identified. The predictive power of these correlates was assessed via regression analyses of 150 romantically involved couples' responses to scales measuring these correlates. The results suggest that for both sexes jealousy is positively related to exclusivity and feelings of inadequacy as a partner. For males, jealousy was also positively related to sex role traditionalism and the degree of dependence of self-esteem upon partners' evaluations, and negatively related to chronic esteem. For females, jealousy was positively related to dependence on the relationship. Effects of dating stage and sex on the correlates are also presented. The findings are discussed from the standpoint of primary appraisal perception of threat (Lazarus, Averill, & Opton, 1970).