Relationship Dissolution and Self-Concept Change
Contribution to Book
The formation and functioning of close relationships can alter individuals’ self-concepts in such a manner that the self-concepts are cognitively linked with the partner; however, relationship dissolution directly threatens the loss of this intertwined self-concept. In this chapter, we first discuss the degree to which prior relationship-induced self-concept change predicts, and in some cases inoculates against, dissolution. Second, we discuss the extent to which relationship dissolution leads to subsequent self-concept changes within individuals (e.g., loss of self-concept content, increased self-concept confusion), as well as the mechanisms underlying whether these post-dissolution self-concept changes are deemed harmful versus beneficial. Third, we explain how individuals may recover from post-dissolution self-concept changes by seeking to repair or restore the damaged self-concept. Finally, we briefly identify avenues for future research that scholars may consider pursuing.
Brent A. Mattingly, Kevin P. McIntyre, & Gary W. Lewandowski Jr.
Mattingly, B. A., McIntyre, K. P., & Lewandowski, G. W., Jr. (2020). Relationship dissolution and self-concept change. In B. A. Mattingly, K. P. McIntyre, & G. W. Lewandowski, Jr. (Eds.), Interpersonal relationships and the self-concept (pp. 145-161). Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-43747-3_9
Interpersonal Relationships and the Self-Concept