Methods used in studying the Transitions in Romantic Relationships and Development of Self-Esteem

Method of Recruitment and Data Collection

The data used for the study of transitions in romantic relationships and development of self-esteem came from an ongoing German panel, comprising of a sample of both adolescents and young adults nationally (Luciano & Orth, 2016). As from 2008, the participants have been assessed in every year for five years. The samples are of three cohorts divided in agreement with the year of births. The analyses are then based on data obtained from the anchor participants. The data have been achieved in two different waves. The first wave of self-esteem data was collected through personal interviews with the use of phones whereas the second wave was obtained through online questionnaires.

Number and makeup of Subjects involved

The sample composition included 9,069 participants, which had 52 percent women. The gender distribution and migration background was even across the subjects. The data used at time one had 9,069 attendees, time two had 7,901 participants, time three had 8,037 individuals, whereas time four had 7,248 participants (Luciano & Orth, 2016). To obtain for the possible impact of attrition, persons who did not participate in the last wave were compared to those who took part in the last wave. The participants who participated in the last wave likely had a migration background, had lower levels of education, less often had romantic relationships and hence marriages, reported less neuroticism and openness to experience, and were as well, very conscientiousness. Differences in age, gender, employment status, sexual orientation, living with parents, residing in West versus East Germany, the frequency of previous relations, self-esteem, the number of children, agreeableness, and extraversion were all not put into consideration. The significant findings attributed to some attrition effects are therefore as a result of the large sample sizes. Given the fact that all the diversities were, mostly, small, lack of representatives to explain attrition were thus not a concern during the study.



Self-esteem as a measure was examined using three tools, which were a standardized according to the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, one of the well-validated and most frequently used measure of self-esteem. One of the items used was similar to an item of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, whereas the other two were similar in content and style to the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale item (Luciano & Orth, 2016). The responses were established with the use of a five-point scale calibrated from one, which represented no level of truth, to five, representing absolute truth. The correlations with the personality traits, Big Five, and depression were the same compared to the results of previous research, which thus supported the validity of the self-esteem scale of measurement.

Relationship Satisfaction

The satisfaction of relationships was evaluated with use of one item, by how satisfied an individual was in the relationship. The scaling and measurements of the responses were determined using an 11-point scale, which was ranging from zero, indicating a lot of dissatisfaction, to ten, which showed complete satisfaction (Luciano & Orth, 2016).


Relationship commitments were established with use four items, with which measured future orientations as a couple, and tolerance of conflicts. Following future direction, the couples would estimate the extent to which they wanted their relationships to last. On the other hand, estimations of tolerance with conflicts were established depending on how the couples would separate incase of serious problems, and also when there was no happiness. Response scaling was on a five-point scale, which ranged from one, symbolizing not at all, to five, symbolizing absolutely (Luciano & Orth, 2016).


Intimacy was measured with use of two items obtained from the Network of Relationships Inventory. The items used determined how frequently the partners shared their thoughts, as well as, the frequency by which they shared private feelings and secrets with their partners. The responses were determined with use of a five-point scale that ranged from one, never indicating, to five, indicating always (Luciano & Orth, 2016).


Just as intimacy, assessment of conflict was done using two items from the Network of Relationships Inventory. The items used evaluated the frequency of quarrels and disagreements, and, on the other hand, the frequency with which the couples became angry or annoyed with each other. The responses were determined with use of a five-point scale that ranged from one, never indicating, to five, indicating always.

Control variables deployed in the analyses of selection effects

During the study of selection effects, gender, migration background, and age were controlled. The migration experience was evaluated as a variable of dichotomous, which ranged from being a first-generation or second- generation immigrant in comparison with a no migration background (Luciano & Orth, 2016).


Luciano, E. C., & Orth, U. (2016). Transitions in Romantic Relationships and Development of Self-Esteem.

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