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Factors influencing trust in romantic relationships

Dissertation
Author: Sylvia N. Durham
Abstract:
From the simple to the complex, every activity involves elements of trust. Trust in regards to romantic relationships is important because the lack of trust will have an effect on the number of healthy romantic relationships. The purpose of this research study was to assess those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. First, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between having an intact family rather than a non-intact family. Secondly, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between gender and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between number of relationships in the past year and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. A nonrandom sample was composed of 100 individuals 18 years of age and older. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire packet which included a consent form, background questionnaire and a 26-item Trust Scale by Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna (1985). The results of the study indicated that, in regards to hypothesis one, that there was no significant difference between intact and non-intact families on trust scores. Regarding hypothesis 2, results indicated that there was a significant difference between males and females on trust scores. However, not in the manner stated in the hypothesis. Finally, results for hypothesis 3 indicated that there was no statistically significant correlation between number of relationships and trust scores. Limitations and implications for mental health professionals were discussed.

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR DISSERTATION Dedication iii List of Tables vi List of Figures and Charts vii List of Appendices viii Acknowledgments ix Vita xi Abstract of the Dissertation xiv Chapter I: INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 1 Chapter II: LITERATURE REVIEW 9 Trust 9 Gender 14 Intact/Non-Intact Families 22 Summary of Review of Literature 28 Definition of Terms 30 Research Hypotheses 30 Chapter III: METHODS 32 Participants 32 Design 46 Instrumentation 48 Procedures 48 Chapter IV: RESULTS 50 iv

Preliminary Analysis 50 Analysis of Potential Confounding Variables 51 Hypothesis Tests 51 CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION 53 Assumptions and Limitations 57 Implications and Recommendations 58 References 60 Appendices 66 v

LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Description of Sample (Continuous Variables) vi

LIST OF FIGURES AND CHARTS Figure 1: Gender 33 Figure 2: Ethnicity 34 Figure 3: Marital Status 35 Figure 4: Living With Parents 36 Figure 5: Home Raised In 37 Figure 6: Parent's Marital Status 38 Figure 7: Reason for Parent's Divorce 39 Figure 8: Closeness with Mother/ Female 40 Figure 9: Closeness with Father/Male 41 Figure 10: Closest Relationship 42 Figure 11: Country Born In 43 Figure 12: Country Father Born In 44 Figure 13: Country Mother Born In 45 vii

LIST OF APPENDICES Appendix A: Consent Form 70 Appendix B: Demographic Background Questionnaire 72 Appendix C: Trust Scale 76 viii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost I give all praise and honor to God for His grace and mercy. Without His favor and guidance I would not be where I am today. To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I give all honor for my accomplishments. It has been a long journey but along the way I have had the opportunity to see how often and to what degree the Lord can and will bless me. When I think about my path, this incredible journey, I cannot help but think about my mother. I am eternally grateful for every day that you sacrificed a bit of yourself so that I could be all you knew that I could be. For loving me, I say thank you. For encouraging me, I say thank you. For believing in me, I say thank you. If I had ten thousand tongues it would never be enough to thank you for all that you have done for me. My love, like my gratitude for you, is forever. I'm so honored and blessed that God gave me to you. I could not have picked a better mother. You are more than my mother, you are my best friend. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all of those that have supported and encouraged me along the way. To all of my family and friends that offered encouraging words and prayers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will never know how much your kindness has meant to me along the way. Thank you for believing in me and all that I have the ability to do. The best is yet to come! To my dissertation chairperson and committee, I extend a special thank you for your support along this path. For your ability to be compassionate and caring I am truly grateful. Dr. Mendoza, thank you so much for your direction and gentle guidance. Dr. Lingenfelter, thank you for your loving kindness and willingness to make yourself ix

available to this process. In memory of Dr. White, I would like to express how much she will be missed as an advisor, a teacher and contributor to the world of psychology. Dr. Murray, thank you for stepping in, in the midst of the saddening loss of Dr. White. Your statistical knowledge is invaluable and I appreciate you as a remarkable professional and individual. x

Vita August 1996- June 2000 2000 2001 2001-2004 2002 Sylvia N. Durham —Admissions intern Loyola Marymount University Westchester, California •B.S. Pre-Med/Biology Loyola Marymount University Westchester, California —Teaching Assistant CSU Dominguez Hills Los Angeles, California —Psychological Counseling Staff Harbor Free Clinic, San Pedro, California —Research Assistant CSU Dominguez Hills Los Angeles, California xi

2003 --M.A. Clinical Psychology with MFT Option CSU Dominguez Hills Carson, California 2005-2006 -Practicum Student ENKI Health and Research Systems Commerce, California 2006 --M.A. Clinical Psychology California School of Professional Psychology Los Angeles, California 2006-2007 -Psychology Intern United American Indian Involvement Incorporated Los Angeles, California 2007-2008 --Psychology Intern Children's Institute, Inc. (APA Accredited) Los Angeles, California Xll

Research Experience: —CSU Dominguez Hills, Department of Psychology. Research Assistant to Dr. Gray-Shellberg on Date Rape Blame Attribution: Effects of Attire, Violence, Relationship Length and Research. — Loyola Marymount University, Biology Department. Proposed and conducted research on The Effects of Temperature on the Lithops Lesliei; — Loyola Marymount University, Biology Department. Proposed and conducted research on the Presence of Bacteria on Commonly Used Items and The Effects on Individuals. Additional Training: -Non-Violent Crisis Intervention -TF-CBT Training and Certification -PCIT Training and Certification -PABC trainings xiii

ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION Factors Influencing Trust in Romantic Relationships By Sylvia N. Durham Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology California School of Professional Psychology At Alliant International University Los Angeles 2010 Dr. Richard Mendoza, Ph.D., Chairperson From the simple to the complex, every activity involves elements of trust. Trust in regards to romantic relationships is important because the lack of trust will have an effect on the number of healthy romantic relationships. The purpose of this research study was to assess those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. First, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between having an intact family rather than a non-intact family. Secondly, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between gender and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between number of relationships in the past year and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. xiv

A nonrandom sample was composed of 100 individuals 18 years of age and older. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire packet which included a consent form, background questionnaire and a 26-item Trust Scale by Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna (1985). The results of the study indicated that, in regards to hypothesis one, that there was no significant difference between intact and non-intact families on trust scores. Regarding hypothesis 2, results indicated that there was a significant difference between males and females on trust scores. However, not in the manner stated in the hypothesis. Finally, results for hypothesis 3 indicated that there was no statistically significant correlation between number of relationships and trust scores. Limitations and implications for mental health professionals were discussed. xv

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Trust is an issue that, at some point in time, everyone struggles with. Can I trust this situation? Can I trust this person? Can I trust this relationship? Can I trust myself with you? To some it might be viewed as an issue of safety because a part of trust is learning to let go. It is about allowing someone else to hold the reigns. Relying on them to do what they say they will, when they say they will. It is a struggle to give someone else the power. In common everyday situations trust is handed out frequently like candy in a candy store. Trusting someone to make the right decision or trusting that someone will be where he or she said they would. But what about when issues of the heart are introduced? How easy is it to trust that someone will love you like they say they will? The focus of this work is in essence the embodiment of that question. It seeks to find the factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. Statement of the Problem There exist a plethora of factors that can influence trust. Some may say attachment style is the decisive component in the development of a meaningful relationship (Feeney & Collins 2001; Mikulincer, 1998). Others may note trauma history as the meaningful component (Gobin & Freyd 2009; DiLillo, Peugh, Walsh, Panuzio, Trask & Evans 2009). However, for the purpose of this study I have chosen to focus on three factors that have come up in casual conversation with my peers: gender, number of relationships in the past year and intact vs. non-intact families. 1

A great deal of the trust component in a relationship has to do with how much one trusts themselves. I believe that above all a person would like to feel as if they are accepted for who they are. It is a level of confidence in the belief that one is good enough and deserving of love from their partner. It involves holding on to one's true self within a relationship. Not losing themselves in a relationship in order to accommodate their partner. If one cannot do this there is a fundamental distrust in the relationship, in the partner and also in self. In essence you are saying I do not trust that I am good enough for you to like or love me. In addition, you are saying that even if I believe I'm good enough for me to love, I do not trust that it will be enough for you in this relationship. So then there are people in loveless marriages and dating experiences because they are presenting their false self. So intent on pleasing the other person that they have lost who they really are. Yet even more than that they become stagnant in their life experience, neither creating movement nor eliciting a change in the system. Which means that they never grow. One of the saddest things, not only in relationships but also as a personal flaw, is the inability of a person to push to be better. To feel an unction that there is something else besides what others have dictated for you or that there is something outside of the box that you have created. In this life there are very few chances of a lifetime. Yet each day people are given chances to change a lifetime. In order to take hold of these golden opportunities one must trust that there is a chance for something more. In an article by Impett, Strachman, Finkel, & Gable (2008) the importance of approach goals, those goals focused on the pursuit of positive experiences in one's relationship, in romantic relationships are examined. They suggest that the adoption of 2

approach relationship goals may help couples to maintain sexual desire over the course of their relationships. Sixty-nine Northwestern University undergraduate students participated in this six-month longitudinal study. Within this study they utilized the approach-avoidance theoretical perspective, used to understand motivation in relationships, to address sexuality in intimate relationships. More specifically it was used in relationship to individuals' goals in their romantic relationship. First, they tested the hypothesis that the adoption of approach relationship goals would buffer against declines in sexual desire over time. It was shown that the adoption of approach relationship goals buffered against declines in sexual desire over a six-month period in relationships. Secondly, they tested whether approach sexual goals would mediate the link between approach relationship goals and sexual desire. They showed that approach relationship goals predicted elevated sexual desire during daily sexual interactions and that this association was mediated by approach sexual goals. Finally they examined how perceptions of the daily relationship climate influence sexual desire and whether relationship events moderate the association of approach goals with sexual desire. The study conducted by Impett, Strachman, Finkel, & Gable (2008) is important to note because of its attention to what motivates people in romantic relationships. Thinking in terms of trust, it would stand to reason that romantic relationships could be influenced by the approach goals one associates with it. In addition, the use of approach- avoidance motivational theory, as well as the importance of approach relationship goals, speaks to the desire to maintain or acquire an improvement in romantic relationship. 3

Levin, Whitener & Cross (2006) explore the possibility that people base their trust of someone on different kinds of information depending on how long they have known the other person. Three hypotheses were outlined for this study. First, that relationship length will moderate the positive association between demographic similarity (i.e. age, gender, etc.) and level of trust. More specifically that with newer relationships the association would be stronger. Secondly, relationship length will moderate the positive association between trustworthy behaviors and level of trust such that the association will be stronger for intermediate relationships and weaker for newer or older relationships. Finally, that relationship length will moderate the positive association between shared perspective and level of trust such that the older the relationship is, the stronger the association will be. Data for this study was collected as part of an ongoing and larger program of research focused on the role of trust in the knowledge-seeking context. Levin, Whitener & Cross (2006) found that relationship length did not have a direct association with a person's trust in another party. Specifically, they found that in newer relationships, the bases of trust in another party are rooted primarily in gender similarity. While in intermediate relationships it's rooted in behavioral expectations from moderate social interaction. Finally, in older relationships it is rooted in personal knowledge of shared perspectives. The aforementioned study is valuable to mention because it addresses the issue of trustworthiness in relationships. It gives support to the importance of the interest of those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. Given that, it causes one to wonder about other factors that may possibly influence trust. 4

Another study by De Cremer, & Tyler (2007), in which seventy undergraduate students participated, explores the effects of trust as related to cooperation. They look at the relationship between trust in authority and procedural fairness in influencing cooperation with an authority. Specifically, they explored the possibility that procedural fairness is expected to positively affect cooperation, primarily when trust in the authority is high. The results showed strong supportive evidence that trust in the authority moderates the effect of procedural fairness on cooperation. This work is relevant in that it shows how having trust in an individual can influence the relationship. It would stand to reason that romantic relationships would also be influenced by the amount of trust that an individual has in another person. Hereby giving additional support to the fact that it is important to further study those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. Turan & Horowitz (2007) address the issue of trust by asking the question, "What kind of knowledge about relationships does one use to infer that a potential partner can be counted on to be there?" They introduce a new method for assessing individual differences in the availability of the knowledge of prototypic indicators that a potential partner will be there when needed. The KNOWI (Knowledge of Indicators) Scale was developed to assess this ability of an individual to discriminate between indicators. One hundred and ninety-nine students at Stanford University participated in the study to help identify one hundred and sixty-five distinct indicators of characteristics found in people that can be counted on in difficult situations. Turan & Horowitz (2007) tested the hypothesis that people who are knowledgeable about the indicators are able 5

identify those individuals that lack those qualities. The results showed that people apply the knowledge assessed by the KNOWI Scale to real social situations. The pursuit of knowledge is a part of what defines us as human. We, these beings on a quest to find out what we know as well as what we do not know, pride ourselves in knowledge. This research gives further support to the fact that individuals are concerned with knowing a person's ability to be counted on. Which in essence is the knowledge about a person's ability to be trusted. More specifically it is an interest into if a person can be trusted in a relationship. As it relates to the overall tone of this work, trust in romantic relationships. The present study is important in that it speaks to the continuous internal struggle of individuals with their own happiness. These romantic relationships are in some ways a measuring stick of how this internal process plays out. How the individuals approach these relationships will either lead to healthy or maladaptive interactions. Hereby, establishing the study as important in addressing the area of romantic relationships. Much of the literature addresses the issues related to relationships between men and women. It is suggested that relationship interaction is related to many factors. One being the difference in gender. In a meta-analysis conducted with fifty-three articles reporting seventy studies, Miller, Worthington & McDaniel (2008) looked at the relationship between forgiveness and gender. They looked at two things in their study. The first being if there were gender differences in forgiveness. It was found that there is a difference between men and women in regard to forgiveness. Secondly, they looked at why differences in forgiveness are found. Nine methodological moderators were looked at (i.e. type of sample, type of 6

forgiveness, etc.) and it did not appear that these differences were due to methodological causes. This study gives further support to the importance of looking at gender differences. The literature suggests that there is a difference in how men and women approach relationships. This difference is important in understand why individuals interact in different manners. It is further suggest that by understanding the trends related to male and female relationship satisfaction one can increase the likelihood of a successful relationship. One component that was found to be fundamental in establishing a connection with another individual is ability to self disclose. It is noted that the sharing of one's self leads to camaraderie between individuals and encourages openness. One of the most important components that is established by this sharing of one's self is the establishment of trust. The literature suggests that trust is important in any relationship. It should come as no surprise the important role that trust plays in romantic relationships as well. Furthermore, the literature suggests that trust is a fundamental component of a long lasting and satisfying relationship. It is also suggested that initiating trust also promotes loyalty. It is on the strength of these findings that the present study is merited. The present study will be conducted to assess those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. The current study will add to current research in that it will further distinguish those factors leading to a trusting romantic relationship. Furthermore, it will assess the influence of trust in sustaining relationships. The proposed study will address three areas. First, it will address if having an intact rather than non-intact family plays a role in making a person more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. 7

Second, it will address if women are more likely to sustain trusting romantic relationships than men. Finally, it will address if there is a relationship between the number of relationships in the past year and sustaining trusting romantic relationships. 8

CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The purpose of this study is to understand some of the factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. This chapter reviews the literature on relationships and the factors related to it. The focus within this chapter will be placed on heterosexual relationships. The chapter will conclude with definition of key terms and the research hypotheses. Trust Commitment and trust seem to play central roles in molding motivation and behavior in ongoing relationships (Wieselquist, Rusbult, Foster & Agnew 1999). To nurture a relationship both parties must be committed to it but must at the most basic level, they must have confidence that their partner is just as involved in the process. Hereby, it stands to reason that there is a need for trust to maintain the commitment. To the extent that achieving and sustaining equal dependence, mutual commitment, and reciprocity of pro-relationship acts rest on knowledge of a partner's commitment, an implicit gauge of the partner's commitment would seem to have considerable functional value (Wieselquist, Rusbult, Foster, & Agnew 1999). This gauge is called trust. There are many ways that trust can be established. One way is through the contact that a person has with their partner. With this contact comes an openness and a sharing of one's self. These self-disclosures encourage love, liking, caring, trust, and understanding (Hatfield & Rapson, 1993). By setting up these building blocks for a successful relationship, one is also setting up expectations. 9

Many have conceptualized trust as a relationship-specific phenomenon, defining trust level as the expectation that a given partner can be relied on to act in a kindly manner and be receptive to one's needs (Holmes, 1989; Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna, 1985; Sorrentino, Holmes, Hanna, & Sharp, 1995). It could be argued that there is this basic anticipation that individual partners are expected to meet each other's needs and protect each other's welfare. In regards to most couples, this norm is ideal and couples try to follow it (Clark, Graham, & Grote, 2002). Therefore, trust appears critical when examining factors influencing romantic relationships. Trust may be an important factor influencing how intimate partners attribute meaning to the events they experience in their relationship (Rempel, Ross & Holmes, 2001). Rempel, Ross and Holmes (2001) examined attributional statements that partners communicate to each other as a function of trust. They found that in the absence of preexisting concerns regarding their partner's honesty, it was unlikely that the verbal expression of positive attributions would cause people to lower their trust. However, in couples with low trust, it seemed that they have resigned themselves to the belief that the struggle to find solutions to current problems is worth the emotional investment required. This study shows how levels of trust affect how much an individual is willing to address the concern and the ability of perceptions to affect the interaction in the relationship. Without trust there can be no honest effective communications. One of the definitions, from Merriam-Webster Dictionary, defines communication as a personal rapport. Giving the insinuation that there is an element of trust involved. Given that idea, one must trust that the person with whom you are in a relationship with is presenting themselves accurately. In a study by Norris & Zweigenhafit (1999) they outlined the 10

concept that people engage in shifting their way of being given different situations. They make the distinction between high and low self-monitors, where low self-monitors are able to maintain a more solid hold on their sense of self. They found that high self- monitors tend to be involved in less committed romantic relationships and low self « monitors tend to be involved in more committed romantic relationships. Trust in relationships is in part about our trust in the person. However, more importantly, it is about how much one can trust self. Our beliefs influence the way we feel and guide our responses to situations, which, in turn influences the degree of satisfaction we feel with our lives and relationships (Cobb, Larson & Watson 2003). It has been shown that a connection between beliefs about relationships and the quality of those relationships exists. Negative experiences may also breed distrust and uncertainty regarding the dependability of relationships (King, 2002). How can one expect for someone else to do what they are unable or incapable of doing themselves? Trust me.. .but I do not trust myself? It is like asking someone to love you when you do not love yourself, it leaves the person somewhat unsatiated. It is ironic that the very quality one desires to have or to find in someone else is lacking in themselves. Then again, it becomes like looking for one's missing piece. This only leads to a person getting a band- aid fix for what is at the root of their problem, their own inadequacy. The relationship addresses the grumbling to the hunger but it is not the answer to the desire of being truly fulfilled. The importance of trust as a relationship process can be seen in the extent to which betrayal of trust such as broken promises and extradyadic affairs are often critical in demise of a close relationship (Miller & Rempel, 2004). Sometimes this causes an 11

individual to begin to expect more from a partner than that person can attain. Some have such high standards that they have set a bar too high to reach and by that same standard, some have lowered the bar to a level that allows standards to be too lax (Larson 2000). By lowering their standards, they self guard against expecting much from their partner. Trusting can be affected by previous experiences that set precedence regarding how to deal with subsequent relationships. The eagerness to trust changes when there are experiences that show that trusting someone is not a reasonable idea (Holmes & Rempel, 1989). Those that have a more romantic view of relationships or focus on the positive qualities of the person they are involved with also seem to have higher levels of relational satisfaction (Murray & Holmes, 1997). Trust also may decline in response to an accumulation of recurring irritations or unresolved conflicts that repeatedly resurface in a relationship (Miller & Rempel, 2004). In the study by Miller & Rempel (2004), they looked at the relationship between trust and attributional processes. Eighty-one couples that had been married or living together for at least two years participated. This study showed that feelings of trust can and do change over time. Porter, S., England, L., Juodis, M., ten Brinke, L., & Wilson, K. (2008) explored the aspect of how trust is recognized in the human face. In other words, they test the adage that truth is written all over one's face. During their research they found evidence to suggest that the face can communicate certain information regarding a person's behavioral inclinations and can be recognized by someone observing the facial changes. Undergraduate students, ranging in age from eighteen to thirty-five years old, participated in this study. To test the accuracy of initial impressions of trustworthiness, faces of those

on the spectrum of presumed trustworthiness (i.e. American's most wanted, Noble Peace Prize winners, etc.) were shown to participants. Results from this study showed that intuition plays a small role in judging the trustworthiness of a stranger on the basis of their facial changes/expressions. The focus of this article suggests that people constantly attempt to assess trust in various ways. The importance of finding if a person is able to be trusted leads many to seek even those non-traditional avenues. Through speculation, through intuition or even direct questioning people seem to have a deep desire to know. To know if trust is possible. It is no surprise that this eagerness to decipher that character trait in romantic relationships is pursued by many, if not all. In a study by Gino & Schweitzer (2008) they looked at the relationship between affect and trust by studying the role emotions play in advice taking. One hundred nine undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon University participated in this particular study. They make three hypotheses in their study. First, those individuals who experience incidental anger are less receptive to advice. Second, they hypothesize that individuals who experience incidental gratitude are more receptive to advice. Finally, they expected that trust mediates the relationship between incidental emotions and reliance upon advice. They found that emotions significantly changed the extent to which participants relied upon advice. In addition, it was shown that emotions influenced how receptive participants were to advice and that trust mediated the relationship between incidental emotions and advice taking. Even to the extent of explaining which people are worth taking advice from, trust is a viable component. It would seem that trust finds it's way into many facets of 13

interactions within relationships. Keeping this in mind, for the purposes of this study, it gives further support to the importance of looking at trust in romantic relationships. Gender When patterns are looked at in our society, there has been a history of disparity in occurrences between the genders. Examples can be seen in regards to the stressors in the lives of women that include interpersonal victimization and violence, unrealistic media images, discrimination and oppression, devaluation, limited economic resources, role overload, relationship disruption and work inequalities (APA, 2007). The interest of gender differences is not an uncommon topic (Bailey, Gaulin, Agyei, & Gladue, 1994; Singh, 1995; Wood & Eagly, 2002). Men and women have differing ways of communicating, interacting and even reacting. Gender differences in how we respond in romantic relationships reveal a residual effect that is consistent with the selection pressures that have operated in determining successful evolution (Cann, 2001). It should then come as no surprise that men and women each have differing ideas about what denotes a romantic relationship. Gender differences have also been shown in regard to the topic of mate selection. Feingold (1992) highlighted the fact that men are more romantically attracted to beauty while women are more attracted to status. Female respondents, more than male respondents, gave higher worth to the items such as SES, ambitiousness, character and intelligence. Of these traits most importance was given to SES and ambitiousness. No two people desire the same things in a relationship. However, when it comes to gender differences, there are some notable differences between the two. Women seem to believe that intimacy means love, affection, and the expression of warm feelings, while men 14

Full document contains 91 pages
Abstract: From the simple to the complex, every activity involves elements of trust. Trust in regards to romantic relationships is important because the lack of trust will have an effect on the number of healthy romantic relationships. The purpose of this research study was to assess those factors that influence trust in romantic relationships. First, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between having an intact family rather than a non-intact family. Secondly, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between gender and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a statistically significant relationship between number of relationships in the past year and being more likely to sustain a trusting romantic relationship. A nonrandom sample was composed of 100 individuals 18 years of age and older. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire packet which included a consent form, background questionnaire and a 26-item Trust Scale by Rempel, Holmes, & Zanna (1985). The results of the study indicated that, in regards to hypothesis one, that there was no significant difference between intact and non-intact families on trust scores. Regarding hypothesis 2, results indicated that there was a significant difference between males and females on trust scores. However, not in the manner stated in the hypothesis. Finally, results for hypothesis 3 indicated that there was no statistically significant correlation between number of relationships and trust scores. Limitations and implications for mental health professionals were discussed.