Reasons for Changes in Commitment: Variations by Courtship Type

Catherine A. Surra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to compare partners in different types of courtship on the reasons they gave for changes in commitment. In previous research four courtship types (accelerated, accelerated-arrested, intermediate and prolonged) were identified from differences in newly weds’ graphs of changes in the chance of marriage during courtship. In this study respondents’ explanations for each turning point in the graph were coded as: intrapersonal/normative, dyadic, social network, or circumstantial. Significant differences among the types were found for the number of dyadic and circumstantial reasons and the proportions of intrapersonal/normative and circumstantial reasons. The types also tended to differ on the proportions of intrapersonal/normative and dyadic reasons for downturns. The results, combined with previously identified differences on partners’ performance of activities together and with the social network, indicate that the types reflect distinct developmental patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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