Emotional Risk-Taking in Romantic Relationships

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study explores the phenomenon of emotional risk-taking (ERT), a component of self-disclosure that has exclusively been addressed in counseling, social work, and behavioral therapy literature. Brown (2012) has developed a theoretical rationale stating that individuals who embrace vulnerability (i.e., ERT) experience a deeper connection with others. Brown’s views are influential for the themes within the study, especially distinguishing trust from ERT. ERT is examined in the context of romantic relationships, as self-disclosure has been proposed to be one of the most critical influences of intimacy. Participants (N = 290) were recruited via Prolific, an academic survey host. The participant’s ages ranged from 18-74 years old (M = 33.47, SD = 10.57), with 54.1% identifying as female, 44.8% identifying as male, .7% identifying as non-binary, and .3% preferring not to disclose. The durations of the romantic relationships ranged from 6 months to 54 years (M = 9.11, SD = 8.53). Participants completed open-ended questions concerning a hypothetical scenario necessitating emotional risk-taking. Participants also completed measures of trust, intimacy, guilt and shame, ERT, and self-disclosure. Findings indicated positive relationships between ERT, trust, intimacy, and self-disclosure. As well, moderation and mediation analyses were conducted, indicating that ERT, as predicted, partially mediates the relationship between self-disclosure and intimacy. In addition, self-disclosure, along with ERT, mediated the relationship between trust and intimacy. Limitations and future research directions are discussed.
Emotional risk-taking, Romantic relationships, Trust, Self-disclosure, Guilt, Shame
Turnbull, K. B. (2019). Emotional Risk-Taking in Romantic Relationships (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.