Thomacos, N. and McMurray, N., University of Melbourne, Australia
Social and interpersonal relationships and their effects on individuals are one of the core areas of interest in clinical and interpersonal psychology. Whilst the literature continues to evolve, a number of gaps remain. In particular, whilst there has been considerable research into the positive effects of relationships and the impact that such relationships have upon well being and health (e.g. Holohan, Holohan, Moos & Brennan, 1997; Rhodes, 1998), there is still a need to develop a broader, more comprehensive understanding of relationships that considers the negative and the positive aspects of relationships concurrently whilst also possible incorporating other explanatory factors such as personality and attachment style. As such, there is a need to not only further research why relationships are perceived as positive, but also what factors may underpin the development and maintenance of such relationships, and how relationships can also therefore be perceived as negative (e.g. Christensen & Walczynski, 1997; Lakey & Cohen, 2000). This paper will examine the relationships of a sample of university students (N=300) as measured by the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction - Questionnaire Version (ISSI-Q); an instrument developed for this study based on Henderson, Duncan-Jones, Byrne and Scott's (1980) clinical interview. Initial investigation of the data suggests that well being (as measured by the absence of anxiety, depression, somatic complaints, and suicidal behaviour) can be both explained by both the positive and negative aspects of relationships as well as by personality traits such as neuroticism. Furthermore, by utilising both of these aspects, a more explicative and integrated understanding of relationships and their effects is produced. The statistical analyses, together with an overview of the data will be presented and the implications discussed.