Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Richard Beck

Secondary Advisor

Dennis Marquardt

Committee Reader

David Mosher


The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between relationship theories, dependency, and self-esteem. A Google form was sent through social media, peers, and family connections to survey individual’s responses to the Relationship Theories Questionnaire, Spouse-Specific Dependency Scale, and the Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale. A total of 130 participants (mostly female, Caucasian, and Christian) responded to the survey. I predicted that relationship theories would positively correlate with dependency and negatively correlate with self-esteem. A high score on the Relationship Theories Questionnaire indicates a destiny theory of love (belief in having a soulmate or determined by destiny), while a low score indicates a growth theory (belief that relationships are strengthened by effort and hard-work). The dependency scale was scored in a way that a higher score indicated a higher level of interpersonal dependency, and a higher score on the self-esteem scale indicates a higher level self-esteem. The data revealed a significant positive correlation between dependency and relationship theories. There was no significant finding between self-esteem and relationship theories. Finally, there was a significant negative correlation between dependency and self-esteem. These findings suggest that someone who adopts a soulmate theory of relationships is more likely to be dependent on their partner for security. This could be due to destiny theorists believing that the person they are with is the “one,” so they idealize their partner to a maladaptive degree. Regarding the nonsignificant relationship observed between relationship theories and self-esteem, I speculate that mental health might not have a notable correlation with how people approach love. Finally, I suggest that the significant negative correlation between self-esteem and dependency may be due to the possibility that people who have a low sense of self-worth are more likely to need their partner to fulfill their needs of identity and security.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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