Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


First Advisor

Edward P. Lemay Jr.


The authors conducted an experiment to test the interpersonal model of depression (Coyne, 1976), and specifically the link between excessive reassurance seeking (ERS) and rejection. The present study involved college-aged romantic couples. Some participants were then manipulated into perceiving that their partner was seeking reassurance from them. Results support the main tenets of Coyne’s (1976) theory. Participants reported increased frustration and reduced felt closeness to dysphoric partners when they were led to believe that their partners were engaging in ERS. Effects on frustration were moderated by partners’ depression, while effects on felt closeness were partially mediated by frustration, yielding a mediated moderation model. Alternative explanations were not supported. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons