Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This study examines how perceptions of a conflict resolution interaction are related to measures of relationship quality and adjustment in a college student sample. Participants included 152 college students involved in a romantic relationship. All participants completed questionnaires to assess features of their romantic relationship and to measure depression. Couples participated in a recorded conflict resolution discussion, and used a video-recall procedure to assess their subjective perceptions of the interaction. Analyses revealed that depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with both low levels of positivity and high levels of negativity during the interaction and in the relationship generally. A stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed an association between perception of the interaction and depression in males, and an association between interaction in the relationship generally and depression in females. Results indicate the importance of socially supportive interaction and conflict resolution skills in college-aged couples to establish high-quality relationships and prevent the onset of depressive symptoms.