Acknowledgements

I have been very fortunate to have the support of many people without whom

this dissertation would not have been possible. Much gratitude and heartfelt thanks go

to:

- my committee members, Drs. Phil Costanzo, Laura Richman and Mary Frances

Luces for taking the time out of their busy schedules to read and evaluate my research.

- Dr. Tara MacDonald who introduced me to the world of relationship research

and Dr. Lee Fabrigar who was instrumental in my becoming a social psychologist.

- Andy Proctor and the team at Qualtrics for the countless hours spent providing

technical support to prepare my on-line study.

- my parents, Jorge and Barbara Estrada for their support and love throughout all

of graduate school, despite not fully understanding what I do.

- my numerous friends who all offered support, humor and their own horror

stories about dissertation writing. Thank you for listening and being there, and making

me smile despite it all. In particular, thank you to Lisa Cavanaugh, Wind Goodfriend,

and Kelley Robinson, for being colleagues as well as friends, and for their willingness to

discuss my research and offer their insights. Finally, I am grateful for Deborah Hall for

the multitude of pep talks and for suffering through this process with me.

- Meredith Terry, Kaitlin Toner, and Erin Bradfield who came through in a

crunch and provided help when it was most vital.

- Anastasia Mattox for her generosity and time spent helping me get participants

for my on-line study.

- the Duke ILLIAD library service for the countless hours they saved me in

tracking down all of the journal articles and books necessary for this project.

And finally, my deepest gratitude and appreciation go to my advisor, Mark

Leary. Thank you for taking me on as your student and allowing me the freedom to

pursue my own research. I am grateful for your ability to always being the sun (never

the wind) and for working all sorts of miracles from resurrecting data to thinking of the

appropriate statistical analysis when all seemed lost. I feel very fortunately to have had

such a supportive, generous, knowledgeable advisor and I can sincerely say that this

dissertation would not have been possible without your guidance. If in my career I am

half the writer, teacher and mentor that you are, I will consider myself a success.