Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Development and Validation of Romantic Inclination Scale

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Development and Validation of Romantic Inclination Scale

Article excerpt

Developing a romantic relationship is considered to be a blissful experience by many youth. To love or to be loved by someone is often viewd by them as an important developmental aspect in one's life. Youths dedicate considerable time and energy in developing and maintaining such relationship. Researches have indicated that heterosexual romantic relationships emerge gradually over the course of adolescence (Connolly et al., 1999). By the age of 15 or 16, 40% to 50% of adolescents report a current romantic relationship (Feiring, 1996) and by late adolescence most young people would have experienced a romantic involvement of some degree of intensity (Dickinson, 1975).

Measurement of romantic relationship: An overview

During the last five decades, researchers have worked on various aspects of romantic relationship, especially in the west. Romantic relationships have been conceptualised from different perspectives. The first scientific study on romantic relationship could be credited to Berscheid and Walster (1969) who developed a social psychological model of love. This model ascribed that love is partitioned into two major varieties viz. companionate and passionate love. Lee (1973) conceptualised six distinct styles of love namely eros, ludus, storge, mania, agape and pragma based on different proportions of passion and commitment in love. Hendrick and Hendrick (1986) utilised the model of Lee and developed Love Attitude Scale (LAS), which is a widely used measure in western research. Stenberg (1986) came out with a triangular model of love. This model conceptualised love has three basic components viz. passion, intimacy and commitment. Aron and Aron (1986, 1997) developed a model which emphasized self expansion as a major motivation for love. The expansion was accomplished by incorporating aspects of the loved one's self into one's own self. Hazan and Shaver (1987) advocated their developmental approach by incorporating attachment theory to study romantic relationship. The three primary attachment styles namely secure, avoidant and anxious/ambivalent (Ainsworth et.al, 1978) that the infants show to their primary caregivers has been mirrored into adult romantic relationship.

From the review of literature it is found that the researches focused on romantic relationship were carried out using various measures specifically designed to study different aspects of relationship. A brief detail about the same is presented in Table-1. The measures indicated in Table-1 have been widely reported in the literature and found to be highly valid. A quick look of Table-1 indicated that the majority of the measures focused on measuring different styles of love. Most of these scales assumed that at the time of measurement respondents have already experienced romantic feelings with some body. In fact, they considered being in love with someone is an a priori condition for participation in the study. It is important to understand that romantic feelings may exist even before one meets the target or partner. It involved an emotional state of longing for the union with a future partner, contemplations and fantasy about the partner and marriage ideations etc all of which might be precedent to meet the partner. As behavioural intentions influence the behaviour, measures to assess the need and inclination for love would explicate the degree to which a person intends to fall in love. On the other hand measuring the intentions will also predict whether a person will fall in love if the situational and contextual forces are not strong enough to retard. It is also understood from the Table-1 that the scales listed are western scales which provides a clear insight that the measurement of love in Indian context requires specific attention.

Romantic inclination

Relationship researchers have often viewed that love is a multifaceted attitude and an aspect of the individual's personality or experience which transcends particular persons and situations (Rubin, 1970). …

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