The (dys)functionality of deceptive affection: Using a goals-based approach to understand the process of deceptive affection and its connection to relational health in friends with benefits and other intimate relationships
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The use of affection in relationships plays an important role in developing and maintaining relationships (Floyd, 2006). However, affectionate communication can also provide substantial risks to individual and relational health when it is misattributed (Floyd and Burgoon, 1999, Floyd and Voloudakis, 1999a). The present dissertation assessed 526 participants to examine the process of deceptive affection, both intensified and deintensified, as a communicative tool used to satisfy goals, and how the use of deceptive affection relates to relational health within three relational contexts: friends with benefits, cross-sex friendships, and romantic relationships. The Deceptive Affection Scale (DAS) was created to assess individuals' use of deceptive affection. Results suggest FWBRs produce more deceptive affection, both intensifying and deintensifying, than cross-sex friendships and romantic relationships. Additionally, different goals predicted the use of intensified and deintensified deceptive affection across relational contexts. Finally, results would suggest that deintensifying affection has minimal influence on relational outcomes, however, intensifying affection is negatively associated with relational health. The current study contributes to the expanding literature on affection, particularly deceptive affection, affection exchange theory, and FWBR literature. Implications for findings, limitations, and areas of future research are addressed.