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The Communication of Jealousy


Jennifer L. Bevan

This book won the 2014 National Communication Association’s Diamond Anniversary Book Award

This book received the 2014 Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Book Award from the «Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association» and the «National Communication Association – Communication and Social Cognition Division – 2013 Distinguished Book Award»

Informed by a wide variety of academic disciplines and offering a unique interpersonal communication approach to the study of jealousy, The Communication of Jealousy examines, integrates, and informs research on jealousy experience and expression. The book’s integration and interpretation of academic jealousy research is through a jealousy expression lens, meaning that the focus will be particularly, but not exclusively, on jealousy research that includes a behavioral or communicative component that is drawn from a number of academic disciplines as diverse as communication, social and clinical psychology, sociology, criminology, forensic anthropology, and the biological sciences. To date, no academic book has considered jealousy primarily from an interpersonal communication perspective; in doing so, this book effectively connects jealousy research from related academic disciplines and develops a theory that advances the state of jealousy expression research.
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Chapter Four. Individual and Relational Characteristics and Jealousy Expression


As an inherently relational phenomenon that involves a valued relationship that is being threatened by a third party, it is not surprising that jealousy is commonly considered in relation to a number of important relationship components, including satisfaction, commitment, and relationship type. However, jealousy is also viewed as a disposition that spans time and relationships, and individuals are able to describe themselves as “a jealous person” (Pines & Aronson, 1983). As such, individual aspects of who the jealous individuals are, including biological sex, gender orientation, age, and personality traits, are also believed to exert an influence on the experience and expression of jealousy. Accordingly, both individual and relational characteristics are acknowledged as important to the jealousy process in multiple jealousy definitions, goals, and models. For example, Clanton’s (1981) and White and Mullen’s (1989) jealousy definitions each specify that experiencing jealousy will be associated with both individual and relationship effects. Further, Bryson’s (1991) dual motivation model of jealousy predicted that individuals seek to simultaneously maintain their relationship and preserve their own self-esteem in jealousy situations. Guerrero and Afifi’s (1999) study subsequently expanded these motivations to include additional relationship and individual jealousy-related goals, such as relationship reassessment and uncertainty reduction. In addition, Guerrero and Andersen’s (1998b) componential model of jealousy highlights the centrality of both individual and relationship characteristics in understanding jealousy. Namely, the six antecedent factors that Guerrero and Andersen’s model identify as being particularly likely to shape jealousy experience and expression include the individual factors of sociobiology, culture, and personality,...

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