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Perceived Marginalization and the Prediction of Romantic Relationship Stability


Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081 (;


The present research examined how perceived marginalization of one’s romantic relationship is associated with level of future commitment to and stability of that involvement. Results from a 7-month longitudinal study of romantically involved individuals (N= 215) revealed that perceived social network marginalization at Time 1 predicted breakup status at Time 2, with commitment level at Time 1 fully mediating this association. Among those individuals whose relationships remained intact, social network marginalization predicted Time 2 commitment above and beyond satisfaction, alternatives, and investments. Additional analyses revealed that perceived general societal marginalization was a less robust predictor of relationship commitment and stability compared to social network marginalization. These findings highlight the important consequences of perceived social disapproval on relationship outcomes.