Rejection sensitivity, trait aggression, and conflict behaviors in romantic relationships
Barrientos, Emelia Samantha
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Personality characteristics can incline a person to imbue aspects of a situation with personal psychological meaning. Because of this, personality traits also influence behavior. Rejection sensitivity, a dispositional quality defined by the tendency to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and overreact to perceived rejection, is proposed to be a personal quality that guides conflict behavior. By employing a diary study of 100 participants in romantic relationships, the associations between rejection sensitivity and trait aggression, conflict behaviors, and perception of conflict severity were examined. Hierarchical multivariate linear modeling revealed that rejection sensitivity and trait aggression were independently related to dominating conflict behavior, and that aggression was related to perceptions of conflict severity. This implies that rejection sensitive individuals’ behavior during conflict is independent of how serious, or trivial, they consider the conflict to be. The findings demonstrate that certain personality characteristics impact conflict behavior more than the perception of conflict severity.