Discrepancies between explicit and implicit self-esteem: implications for mate retention strategies and perceived infidelity.
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the association between explicit self-esteem and relationship outcomes was moderated by implicit self-esteem. This was accomplished by asking 210 undergraduates who were currently involved in romantic relationships to complete measures of their explicit self-esteem, implicit self-esteem, mate retention strategies, and likelihood of future infidelity. Implicit self-esteem was found to moderate the association between high explicit self-esteem and relationship outcomes for male participants such that men with discrepant high self-esteem (i.e., high explicit self-esteem but low implicit self-esteem) reported less use of mate retention strategies and perceived a greater likelihood of future infidelity in their relationships during the next year. These findings provide additional support for the idea that fragile self-esteem may have consequences for the manner in which individuals perceive their relationships.
Zeigler-Hill, V; Fulton, JJ; McLemore, C
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