Christopher Agnew

Christopher Agnew
Purdue University | Purdue · Department of Psychological Sciences

PhD

About

113
Publications
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Publications

Publications (113)
Article
People often consider how ready they feel for a committed romantic relationship before initiating one. Although research has only begun to identify the antecedents of commitment readiness, several theoretical perspectives suggest that it should be shaped by the perceived frequency of available partners. We conducted five studies (one correlational,...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significant and varied losses that couples can experience during times of global and regional disasters and crises. What factors determine how couples navigate their close relationships during times of loss? In this paper, we elaborate and extend on one of the most influential frameworks in relationship sci...
Chapter
Interdependence, Interaction, and Close Relationships - edited by Laura V. Machia June 2020
Article
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - Interdependence, Interaction, and Close Relationships - edited by Laura V. Machia
Chapter
Timing matters in relationships. Although people are universally driven to form and maintain social bonds, psychologists and relationship scientists have largely ignored the notion that people vary in the degree to which they are open and receptive to the idea of being involved in long-term committed romantic relationships, let alone that receptivi...
Article
Full-text available
Little research has examined factors that might weaken or strengthen commitment effects on relationship outcomes. The current research integrates attitude strength and investment model perspectives to identify uncertainty as a new moderator of commitment’s predictive ability. Consistent with an attitude strength perspective, having doubt associated...
Article
The current research offers and examines the concept of commitment desirability, defined as the subjective desire to be involved in a committed romantic relationship at a given time. In pursuing their desire for a committed romance, how do individuals high in commitment desirability strategically ensure success? We suggest that high perceived partn...
Chapter
Power in Close Relationships - edited by Christopher R. Agnew February 2019
Article
Timing matters in relationships. People vary in their sense of when they think the time is right to be involved in a committed relationship. We propose and examine the construct of commitment readiness and its role in predicting important relationship outcomes including commitment level, maintenance processes, and stability among involved intimates...
Article
The concept of being ready for a relationship is pervasive in popular culture, but theoretical and empirical research on readiness is lacking. We offer a conceptualization of commitment readiness and provide some of the first empirical work examining readiness among single individuals—specifically how this construct shapes various aspects of relati...
Article
Full-text available
The investment model of commitment has been used to understand relationship maintenance and dissolution across a variety of populations and relationship types. The current study used data from the Project on Partner Dynamics (POPD), a cohort study of young adults involved in nonmarital sexual relationships in the Los Angeles area, to test whether a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The concept of being ready for a relationship is pervasive in popular culture, but theoretical and empirical research on readiness is lacking. We offer a conceptualization of commitment readiness and provide some of the first empirical work examining readiness among single individuals—specifically how this construct shapes various aspects of relati...
Article
Because decisions related to contraceptive behavior are often made by young adults in the context of specific relationships, the relational context likely influences use of contraceptives. Data presented here are from in-person structured interviews with 536 Black, Hispanic, and White young adults from East Los Angeles, California. We collected par...
Article
Full-text available
Although attachment security is relatively stable over time, individuals do experience significant within-person variation in their attachment security across time. No research to date, however, has assessed the relational consequences of within-person variation (fluctuations) in attachment security toward a specific attachment figure. Study 1 (N =...
Article
Commitment has often been used to examine why individuals unjustifiably persist in relationships that are lacking in or devoid of satisfaction. However, the practicality of using commitment to examine these situations has been questioned because of its substantial association with satisfaction. Across three studies, we created a measure of nonvolun...
Article
Objective: To examine how relational qualities, including commitment to a sexual partner, are associated with condom use among young heterosexual adults at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections. Guided by the investment model of commitment processes, we hypothesized that sexual partner commitment is a function of satisfaction with, al...
Article
Past research has shown that normative beliefs, or perceptions of (dis)approval from social network members regarding one's romance, significantly predict relationship commitment. We investigated sensitivity to rejection as a moderator of the normative beliefs-commitment association. We tested and found support for the moderating effect of rejectio...
Article
This research examined predictors of motivation to comply with social referents regarding one's romantic relationship. Two variables are argued to predict motivation to comply with the opinions of social network members: (a) social consequences of compliance and (b) perceived relationship expertise. Three studies examined the association of these v...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Sexual partnership dates are critical to sexually transmitted infection/HIV research and control programs, although validity is limited by inaccurate recall and reporting. Methods: We examined data from 302 heterosexual adults (151 index-partner dyads) to assess reliability of reporting. Dates of first sex and last sex were collected...
Article
How do perceptions of future romantic plans affect close relationships? In three studies, we examined the effects of ease of retrieval of future plans on romantic relationship commitment. We hypothesized that greater ease of retrieval would be associated with greater relationship commitment among those who were high in need for cognition. Study 1 p...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Concurrency is suggested as an important factor in sexually transmitted infection transmission and acquisition, though little is known regarding factors that may predict concurrency initiation. We examined the association between perception of a partner's non-monogamy (PPNM) and simultaneous or subsequent concurrency among at-risk hete...
Article
Knowledge that partners have about each other's attitudes are consequential for relationship quality. This article extends prior research and examines whether knowledge regarding a partner's meta-attitudinal bases, or subjective perceptions of how one's attitudes are driven, can influence relationship quality. Given how meta-bases are reflective of...
Article
The impact of concurrency on sexually transmitted infection transmission depends on coital frequency, condom use, duration of relationship overlap, and number of partners. Previous research has identified distinct concurrency types; however, little is known about their risk characteristics. Men (n = 261) and women (n = 275) aged 18 to 30 years at i...
Article
In 4 studies using cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental methods, we applied interdependence theory-based concepts to understand individuals' religious commitment, focusing on 4 distinct targets of commitment: God, denomination, community, and spiritual leader. We specifically examined which individuals were likely to persist in their rel...
Conference Paper
Background: Concurrent sexual partnerships may contribute to STI and HIV transmission. Most concurrency studies have used cross-sectional designs and, as a result, little is known about motives for initiating concurrency. Methods: We analyzed longitudinal data for 537 adults aged 18-30 to estimate the prevalence and incidence of concurrency,...
Conference Paper
Background: Partner notification programs and research studies routinely collect sexual partnership dates, but reporting accuracy is constrained by imprecision, memory failure, and recall bias. Magnitude of inaccuracy and its correlates have implications for collecting and interpreting sexual behavior data. Methods: We examined inter-partner...
Conference Paper
Young adults have the highest rates of reported chlamydia and gonorrhea infection and the highest rate of HIV diagnoses of any age group. Concurrent sexual partnerships are most common among young adults and are a risk factor for STI transmission and acquisition. Characteristics of concurrent partnerships, including coital frequency, condom use, an...
Article
Individuals balance tasks necessary to fulfill personal goals and to maintain their interpersonal relationships. In the current studies, we examined the impact of personal goal pursuits on how individuals process and respond to events in their romantic relationships. In 5 experiments, we examined consequences of motivationally active personal goals...
Article
Full-text available
There is little research on the nature of relationships between individuals following the termination of a nonmarital romantic relationship. It is largely unknown to what extent former romantic partners remain close following breakup. The present research used the Investment Model of Commitment Processes, assessed prior to romantic breakup, to exam...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examines the trajectories of student perceived gains as a result of time spent in an undergraduate research experience (URE). Data for the study come from a survey administered at three points over a 1-yr period: before participation in the program, at the end of a Summer segment of research, and at the end of the year. Repeated-m...
Article
Full-text available
Using experiments, we show that subjects who are asked about their support for war without being told about diplomatic strategies to deal with crises back military operations at levels consistent with people who are told that the alternatives to war are of low quality. In contrast, subjects who are told that diplomacy could work to resolve conflict...
Book
How do we choose a partner to initiate a relationship with, and what makes us stay in a given relationship over time? These questions are most often pursued by scholars with an emphasis on the internal thoughts, feelings, and motivations of individual decision-makers. Conversely, this volume highlights the importance of considering external influen...
Chapter
Think about some decisions that you have made in your life, both small and big: what you tend to eat, what clothes you choose to wear, what car you drive, what schools you attended, what career you pursue. Would it surprise you to learn that these decisions were influenced by others around you, that you regularly take input from your broader social...
Article
p>Families accrue advantages through their investments in their immediate mem bers and in their relationships with kin and a variety of personal associates. Although the term investment is quite familiar to relationship and family scholars (e.g., Goodfriend and Agnew, 2008; Rusbult, Drigotas, and Verette,1994), in recent decades it has been given n...
Article
Voluminous work has catalogued the utility of Rusbult's (1980) investment model of commitment processes in understanding why some relationships persist whereas others fail. To date this work has been conducted almost exclusively with samples of English-speaking individuals. To facilitate testing novel hypotheses among Spanish-speaking populations a...
Article
Using experiments, this paper examines whether the order of information people receive about US military operations influences their support for those uses of force.
Article
Full-text available
People can develop close relationships with media figures viewed on TV. Across two studies we examined the extent to which satisfaction with, alternatives to, and investments in such parasocial relationships (PSR) account for feelings of commitment toward favored TV characters. In Study 1, satisfaction and investments positively predicted commitmen...
Article
Romantic relationships are, at their core, friendships. As such, it may be the case that valuing that aspect of the relationship fortifies the romantic relationship against negative outcomes and serves as a buffer against dissolution. We explored the role of valuing friendship within romantic relationships in two two-wave studies examining whether...
Article
Reports an error in "Whose Intentions Predict? Power Over Condom Use Within Heterosexual Dyads" by Laura E. VanderDrift, Christopher R. Agnew, S. Marie Harvey and Jocelyn T. Warren (Health Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, Oct 1, 2012, np). Text was omitted from the author note. The text that should have been included is provided in the erra...
Conference Paper
The leading category of HIV transmission among women and the second leading category among men is heterosexual contact. Concurrent sexual partnerships accelerate the transmission of HIV and other STIs and different types of concurrent partnerships may have different implications for the efficiency of STI transmission. In this study, we examined typ...
Article
Unlabelled: According to major theories of behavioral prediction, the most proximal psychological predictor of an individual's behavior is that individual's intention. With respect to interdependent behaviors such as condom use, however, relationship dynamics influence individuals' power to make decisions and to act. Objective: The current study...
Article
Weather-related variables (temperature and rain) are examined for their association with daily cigarette smoking. Prior research has examined how the average monthly temperature and summer versus winter months are related to smoking, but daily fluctuations in weather have not been examined previously. The current research tests whether daily change...
Article
Need fulfillment has been found to be associated with numerous positive relationship outcomes, but its impact on stay–leave behavior is less clear. In the current study, we considered whether the fulfillment of different needs might differentially affect stay–leave behavior. We distinguished between needs that are personal in nature and those that...
Article
This chapter addresses the questions (1) What do we mean by "behavior" in personality and social psychology? and (2) How can we best assess social behavior? We define behavior as being observable and socially meaningful, but also discuss the dimensions on which behavior varies (e.g., intentional vs. habitual, discrete vs. continuous). We also discu...
Article
The investment model of commitment processes The investment model of commitment processes is rooted in interdependence theory and emerged from the broader scientific zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s that sought to understand seemingly irrational persistence in social behavior. The investment model was developed originally to move social psychology...
Article
Commitment to a relationship is associated with a number of consequences, including willingness to sacrifice for the relationship, greater cognitive interdependence between partners, and increased trust in one's partner. Consistent with such consequences, we hypothesized that greater commitment is associated with decreased perceptions of one's part...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the process by which romantic relationship partners who report lower self-expansion in their relationship come to show greater interest in their alternatives. We tested predictions based on the alternatives literature in which lacking relationship-derived self-expansion would lead to failures of motivational bias (i.e., devalui...
Article
Full-text available
Cancer prevention is a broad field that crosses many disciplines; therefore, educational efforts to enhance cancer prevention research focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the field are greatly needed. In order to hasten progress in cancer prevention research, the Cancer Prevention Internship Program (CPIP) at Purdue University was designed t...
Article
HIV prevention strategies among couples include condom use, mutual monogamy, and HIV testing. Research suggests that condom use is more likely with new or casual partners, and tends to decline as relationships become steady over time. Little is known, however, about explicit mutual monogamy agreements and HIV testing within heterosexual couples. Th...
Conference Paper
One known risk factor for HIV/STI acquisition is engaging in sexual relationships with multiple partners at the same time or within short intervals. Little is known, however, about the interpersonal dynamics that give rise to concurrent sexual partners. Focusing on individuals who initially reported sexual behavior exclusively with one partner, we...
Article
The current research examines a behavioral mechanism by which romantic partner descriptive and injunctive norms can contribute to young adult smoking. Whether or not participants smoked in the physical presence of a partner was predicted to be influenced by the smoking characteristics of a romantic partner. Specifically, romantic partner smoking (d...
Article
A meta-analysis of predictors of nonmarital romantic relationship dissolution was conducted, including data collected from 37,761 participants and 137 studies over 33 years. Individual, relationship, and external variables were investigated, and results suggest that commitment, love, inclusion of other in the self, and dependence were among the str...
Article
• Why are people in close relationships motivated to go beyond their own self-interest and act in a manner that benefits their partner? Some theorists would point to person factors in answering this question, specifying various personality dimensions as particularly relevant (see chaps. 3,4, 7, and 19, this volume). Others would take a social cogni...
Article
The inaugural Purdue Symposium on Psychological Sciences (PSPB) gathered leading thinkers in social psychology to consider theoretical and empirical issues relevant to behavior, across the field and with respect to various subfields of social psychological inquiry. This volume presents the contributions of the PSPS symposium participants. Each cont...
Article
In the current research, we used a multiwave longitudinal design to examine how young adults' own smoking and smoker prototypes are associated with selection of romantic partners over time. Results indicate that participants who smoke, versus participants who do not smoke, and participants who have a more positive prototype of the typical smoker ar...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we suggest that the Investment Model of Commitment, developed in social psychology, offers a solution to an important microfoundational issue in audience cost theory. Audience cost models are useful for thinking about the foreign policy behaviors of democratic and nondemocratic states. However, they often assume that citizens reliabl...
Conference Paper
High-risk heterosexual contact accounted for over a third of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2006 and 80% of new infections among women. Among the strategies promoted for HIV prevention among couples are condom use and mutual monogamy. Research suggests that condom use is more likely with new or casual partners and tends to decline a...
Chapter
Behaviors involving others, whether in their initiation, their enactment, or their consequences, are of particular interest to social psychologists. Not surprisingly, behaviors featuring the intertwining of outcomes of actors can be a theoretical and measurement challenge. This chapter introduces a section of the book containing a number of chapter...
Chapter
This chapter describes how the initial ideas for the book emerged and discusses a number of key issues regarding behavior in social psychology. Psychologists commonly partition the behavioral chain into three parts that can be roughly characterized as the stimulus environment, mediating processes, and behavioral response. In this volume, the editor...
Article
Two studies investigated the process by which individuals in nonmarital romantic relationships characterized by low commitment move toward enacting leave behaviors. Predictions based on the behavioral, goal, and implementation intention literatures were tested using a measure of dissolution consideration developed for this research. Dissolution con...
Conference Paper
Past research has consistently shown that condom use is less likely within ongoing relationships than within casual partnerships (e.g., Anderson, 2003; Misovich et al., 1997). Rather than being more careful in sexual relations with a more well-known partner, the available evidence suggests that the opposite is the case: one's physical defenses appe...
Conference Paper
African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy. Prior research has indicated that conspiracy beliefs held by some African Americans regarding HIV/AIDS and birth control may be barriers to HIV/STI and unintended pregnancy prevention. Previous studies have also shown that many African Americans repo...
Article
The current study assessed associations between romantic partner and friend smoking, their approval for smoking, and young adult cigarette smoking over time. The study examined how both friend and partner smoking and injunctive norms predict smoking, using 35 waves of data collected weekly during participants' 1st year in college. Several analytic...
Article
Full-text available
Although the concept of investments in romantic relationships has featured prominently in close relationships research, there have been no empirical analyses of different types of investments and their possible differential predictive power regarding relationship state or fate. With data from five independent samples, the authors offer and examine...
Article
Full-text available
Little research has addressed age-gap romantic relationships (romantic involvements characterized by substantial age differences between partners). Drawing on evolutionary and socio-cultural perspectives, the present study examined normative beliefs and commitment processes among heterosexual women involved in age-gap and age-concordant relationshi...
Article
Full-text available
Applying constructs from the investment model used traditionally to understand interpersonal commitment, the present investigation seeks to elucidate social cognitive antecedents of commitment to the war on terror waged by the United States. In Study 1, satisfaction with, investments in, and alternatives to the war on terror predict levels of commi...
Article
UpTERN, a study conducted by the Tobacco Etiology Research Network (TERN), was designed to examine trajectories of change in smoking behavior and the emergence of dependence over the course of the freshman year from a large sample of college students. The project included extensive quantitative and qualitative assessments of participants. In the fi...
Article
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 stat...
Article
Full-text available
The authors propose specific temporal profiles that reflect certainty versus doubt about where a partner stands with respect to a dating relationship over time. Two multiwave longitudinal studies focused on within-participant changes in perceived partner commitment. Results from multilevel modeling indicate that individuals whose perceptions of par...
Article
Full-text available
Little research has examined the effects of prejudice and discrimination on people's romantic relationships. The authors explored whether belonging to a socially devalued relationship affects consequential relational phenomena. Within the framework of the Investment Model, the authors (a) tested the association between perceived relationship margin...
Article
Close interpersonal relationships serve as a critical interface between intrapersonal and interpersonal processes. These processes underlying relationships have generally been considered in isolation, though with appreciable success. Although both intrapersonal and interpersonal approaches provide important knowledge about close relationships, each...