The Role of Family Dynamics and Rejection Sensitivity in Predicting Attitudes and Behavior in Online Dating

Elisa K McAfee, Purdue University


The study discussed here sought to explore the relationship between family dynamics in adolescence, rejection sensitivity, online dating attitudes, and online dating behavior in emerging adulthood. Previous research has established the relationship between rejection sensitivity and likelihood of online dating. However, there are currently no ties in the literature between family dynamics and rejection sensitivity, family dynamics and attitudes about online dating, nor family dynamics and behavior in online dating. Using structural equation modeling and data from 235 participants, this study explored the relationships among these factors. Analysis indicated a positive and significant relationship with both adaptability and cohesion and rejection sensitivity. Furthermore, positive and significant relationships were found between each cohesion, adaptability, and communication and online dating attitudes. These findings suggest that the family dynamics in individuals’ adolescence have a lasting impact into emerging adulthood, including on ability to handle rejection and on acceptance and openness in relationship styles outside of those thought of as traditional. Clinically, these findings may be useful in drawing connections and guiding treatment when presenting problems include a focus on dating or relationship issues.




Nalbone, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Psychology|Individual & family studies

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server