Development of Romantic Jealousy Scale for Married Men and Women
31 Dec, 2021
12 May, 2022
31 Dec, 2022
In the present study Romantic Jealousy Scale for married men and women was developed and validated. The items were empirically generated through interviewing seven participants that is married men and women. The scale was administered on a sample (N = 318) of married men and married women between the age range of 21 to 63 years to establish psychometric properties. Reliability of the scale was adequate, and the results of scale factor analysis showed significant KMO value and Bartlett’s test of sphericity significant. Scree plot revealed two factors as these two were seen above the elbow of the plot. To confirm the number of factors, factor analysis was conducted that revealed two factors through Principal Component Analysis, Direct Oblimin Rotation and were labeled as Sexual Jealousy and Emotional Jealousy. The inter-item correlation for subscales revealed that the two factors were significantly correlated with the total score of Romantic Jealousy Scale and 15 items out of original 18 items were retained that contributed significantly theoretically as well as empirically. The development and psychometric properties of the Romantic Jealousy Scale were established and discussed keeping in view the contextual and cultural variation.
An important aspect of relationships romantic in nature is the romantic jealousy. It is basically a combination of feelings, behaviors and thought pattern whenever a relationship is going through a hypothetical or authentic danger (White & Mullen, 1989). Therefore, jealousy requires a social triangle which includes the person, his/her partner and a villain which can be either authentic or hypothetical (Harmon-Jones et al., 2009). Jealousy is a feeling associated with various problems such as low self-esteem feeling that you are not satisfied, insecure, rumination, aggression, doubts over yourself and embarrassment (Costa et al., 2015).
It is high time that a culturally relevant scale on romantic jealousy was developed since unfortunately, there is not much work done on romantic jealousy in Pakistan it is also seen here that husbands abuse and in extreme cases kill their wives in the name of ghairat. Pakistan’s cultural relevance of the scale makes it unique from the existing tools. Romantic jealousy constitutes both state and trait like components and has various dimensions. There is a genetic predisposition for romantic jealousy (Lewis et al., 2018). It can be experienced at as early as six months when a baby feels jealous after the birth of their sibling (Hart & Carrington, 2002) and can also be experienced as an adult (Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989). Other than the genetic cause, there are various other factors to initiate such feeling one of which is rivals that are motivated to destroy a romantic relationship (Pollet & Saxton, 2020). Jealousy in intimate relationships is associated with the feeling that your partner is or cannot be with someone who acts as a real danger to the relationship. It manifests itself in the forms of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions (Buss & Haselton, 2005; DeSteno & Salovey, 1996; Harmon-Jones et al., 2009; Sharpsteen, 1995; White & Mullen, 1989). The danger which is predicted can be either hypothetical or authentic in nature based on any type of attraction between the person who is a danger to relationship and the partner.
It can be experienced within any sort of relationships such as relationships between intimate partners, within friendship or in families. Jealousy has been depicted as a negative emotion as it can be destructive for any relationship, does not mean it is always destructive and lethal (Guerrero et al., 1995; Mathes et al., 1985; Shackelford et al., 2004). It is basically a response to a fear towards a danger to relationship or the quality of relationship which can be either hypothetical or authentic in its nature. There is a very fine line between a normal healthy state and an insane state where jealousy exists. Sometimes if people don’t express certain obvious forms of expressing their feelings of jealousy it just does not seem right or normal; whereas others are so fond of expressing abnormal levels of jealous that there is no one that cannot differentiate them (Marazziti et al., 2003).
The two types of jealousy are the sexual and emotional jealousy. An individual experiences sexual jealousy when there is a suspicion or information about the actual or a possible partner’s infidelity whereas, emotional jealousy involves a threat related to the emotional involvement of a partner with a third person (Harvey et al., 2004). Sexual jealousy refers to all those behaviors which an individual does on suspecting their partner’s involvement with another person (Guerrero et al., 2004). Emotional jealousy constitutes of all those emotional reactions a person feels on being betrayed (Knobloch et al., 2001). Despite jealousy being an emotion itself there are various other types of emotions which are related to it such as sadness, anger, and fear (Harris & Darby, 2010; Hupka, 1984). Regardless of the type of jealousy romantic jealousy is an emotion that arises after certain cognitive and emotional processes have taken place. An appraisal of the situation or a threat that is villain to a relationship leads to jealousy (Hobson, 2010).
Moreover, dynamics of jealousy and its form of anticipation and expression is highly dependent on the cultural values, beliefs, and norms. It had been seen that the factors influencing and the forms of expressing the feeling of jealousy is culturally varied (Clanton & Smith, 1977; Hupka et al., 1985). Jealousy is a feeling that is experienced all over the world irrespective of the culture, but a major difference is based on its expression and how people manifest it. One of the differences across cultures is the types of events which initiate the feeling of jealousy and definitions of the perceived threat to people. The second major difference are the ways individuals belonging to various cultures react and respond to those threats and in the expression of romantic jealousy (Pines, 1992).
It greatly depends on the availability of the resources and the dependability of spouses on each other. Where there is a constant struggle for survival and necessities, the feeling of jealousy is experienced more than in the cultures where people do not struggle for basic things and live an easy life comparatively (Pines, 1998). There is a difference in how to manage the feeling and the behavior towards an unfaithful spouse. Some cultures accept the feeling as a normal response whereas, others consider it a negative feeling accompanied by the punishment and condemning an unfaithful partner (Buss, 2013).
The resulting behavior towards an unfaithful spouse also depends on the gender along with the cultural difference. Zuni wives have the right to stop washing their husband’s laundry if they cheat them. There are cultures where if a husband is unfaithful to his wife, a demand of returning dowry is acceptable and the wife has the right to claim on her husband’s property as compensation. Moreover, in some cultures including plateau tribes in Africa in the case of infidelity a murder of a woman is common and acceptable (White & Mullen, 1989). Unfortunately, there is not much work done on romantic jealousy in Pakistan it is also seen here that husbands abuse and in extreme cases kill their wives in the name of ghairat.
The acts of ritual murder, rape, abuse (verbal or physical), beating and mutilation of various types are permitted in certain cultures. It is not important that only the spouse who is jealous is supposed to carry out such acts, but the family, relatives, friends and officials can also take parts. An example is to stone to death an adulterous spouse and their lover: the rival in the community of ancient Hebrews (Pines & Friedman, 1998; White & Mullen, 1989). It greatly depends on the values of a certain culture and is mostly seen as a social phenomenon especially in the collectivistic cultures. People in a culture set and define norms to decide at what situations an individual is supposed to feel jealous and what should be the thinking and a resulting behavior. Therefore, it is very crucial to keep in mind the cultural values and its elements while studying a phenomenon such as romantic jealousy and developing a culturally relevant tool.
Social Cognitive Theory of Jealousy
The concept of jealousy whether it is the evoking or inducement of jealousy is best explained by the social-cognitive theory of jealousy (Harris 2003). From all the affective theories, the most important aspect in initiating emotional outbursts is the cognitive manifestations. They play a major role in anticipation and perception of dangers and threats. The major cause of feeling and going through romantic jealousy is the perception of an enemy and a villain who may be even hypothetical who has the tendency to bring a relationship under a danger. It is the danger regarding the quality or the basic reality of the relationship.
According to the social cognitive theory of jealousy, any danger that could be caused to a relationship is also considered through anticipation of people indulged in romantic relationships (Harris, 2003). Cognitive and emotional betrayal is the most common leading towards either sexual or emotional jealousy. According to the social cognitive theory, there are individual differences in romantic jealousy also reported based on attribution and anticipation. Moreover, the two factors that can trigger or cause the threat are reduction in the quality of relationship and when self-representations, regard and concept are threatened by any behavior (Salovey & Rodin, 1991).
Research suggests that people who are always frightened that they are not valued by others, or they are not equally loved by them are those who feel jealous more (Levy & Kelly, 2010). Moreover, it was seen that other components came out to be less beneficial to the relationship then the emotional component as it was negatively related to love whereas, emotional component positively related. Since an individual felt more emotionally jealous if that person had more feeling of love for their partner whereas, suspicions and detective behaviors tend to offend people and create differences and problems in a romantic relationship (Mathes & Severa, 1981; Pfeiffer & Wong, 1989; White, 1984).
One of the most important factors to determine jealousy is the culture. A study conducted in Turkey revealed that women get offended in cultures where it is common to have monogamous relationships whereas within cultures that support polygamy, women and men do not mind and do not get jealous on having new wives and husbands. In fact, it is considered as a status symbol (Demirtaş & Dönmez, 2006). Jealousy is a feeling found in all cultures the variation is only in the rate of the feeling being prevalent. A study conducted in America revealed that individuals who were married out of them approximately 30 to 50 percent males and 20 to 40 percent females had at least one affair due to which jealousy was experienced (Shackelford et al., 2000).
There are mixed findings regarding how men and women perceive sexual and emotional jealousy. Men reported to be more disturbed due to sexual jealousy whereas women reported that emotional jealousy was more disturbing (Cramer et al., 2001; Sagarin & Guadagno, 2004; Shackelford et al., 2004). Whereas, in another study there was no difference in the magnitude of the options regarding emotional and sexual jealousy indicating there were no gender differences (Corzine, 2013). Sexual jealousy has been reported to cause some of the major issues between partners. It does not only cause intimate partner violence and abuse (Buss & Duntley, 2011) but also spousal battering (Daly et al., 1982). Moreover, it is one of the major factors that demolishes trust and leads towards divorce (Buss, 2000). A mere suspicion of partner’s infidelity causes sexual jealousy that can result in transforming a partner into a strict person imposing restrictions on hangouts with family, relatives and friends which can not only be detrimental to the relationship but the mental health of the partner as well. It results in isolation, anxiety regarding one’s well being as there is a possibility of beating and abuse and low self-esteem (Buss, 2000; Wilson & Daly, 1992).
Romantic Jealousy Scale was developed keeping in consideration the various dimensions of jealousy along with the religious and cultural elements of Pakistan’s culture. Following are the steps involved in development of scale.
Step 1: Conceptualization of Construct
With the help of theoretical background and previous literature, the construct was conceptualized. In order to conceptually understand the construct, it was crucial to break down the construct into its dimensions. Jealousy is the feeling of conscious deprivation, of being excluded from something desirable once believed possessed and enjoyed with sufficient satisfaction (Ninivaggi, 2020). Romantic jealousy is a threat to a value’s romantic relationship. An individual experiences sexual jealousy when there is a suspicion or information about the actual or a possible partner’s infidelity whereas, emotional jealousy involves a threat related to the emotional involvement of a partner with a third person (Harvey et al., 2004).
Step 2: Preparation of Interview Guide
An interview guide was formed after the conceptualization of the construct. The different domains in the interview guide were kept in mind such as the sexual and emotional domains including the experience, ways to manage the feeling, causes and the thought process. After the interview guide was finalized, interviews were conducted by seven people and the details of the procedure are described below.
Step 3: Interviews
The major objectives of the study were to explore essential cultural and religious elements those fit according to the lifestyles of people and are culturally relevant. In addition, to investigate personal, interpersonal, and socio-cultural factors and items generation and development of scale.
For the generation of item pool, seven participants were interviewed. They were selected using convenient sampling strategy and based on their willingness to participate in the study. Their age ranged between 21-63 years. The participants were all literate and were married. The duration of marriage ranged from 1-13 years. Marriage type of the participants was both by choice and arranged marriage.
Interviewee first was a 28-year-old female. She is currently a resident of Lahore and a student of PhD. The duration of her marriage was 2 years. The interview was in-person and then was transcribed accordingly. Second interviewee was a 23-year-old male who had currently passed out from BS (Hons.). He belonged to Lahore. He was married since one year. The interview was conducted in-person and then was transcribed at the end. Third interviewee was a 28-year-old female living in Lahore. The duration of her marriage was 8 years. She worked at in a researcher firm as a professional researcher right after completing her BS (Hons.). She was interviewed in-person. The entire interview was recorded and then transcribed accordingly. Fourth interview was a 35-year-old female whose qualification was Masters, living in Lahore. She was married for 13 years. She agreed for an in-person interview. After the interview was conducted it was transcribed. Fifth interviewee was a 31-year-old female living in Lahore. She was a housewife and had been married for 9 years. The interview was conducted in-person and then was transcribed accordingly. Sixth interviewee was a 32-year-old male. He is currently a resident of Lahore. He is married for two years and is a student of PhD, also works as a professor. He was interviewed in-person and the interview was recorded and transcribed. Last interview was a 27-year-old male whose qualification was MPhil. He is currently a resident of Lahore. He was married for 2 years and worked as a professor of research. He was interviewed online. The interview was recorded and then transcribed accordingly.
All the participants were recruited based on convenient sampling strategy based on their willingness to participate. The time and the medium for interview were decided by the participants and all of them agreed on in-person interviews. Therefore, a focus group interview was conducted according to their feasibility. Verbal consent was taken from the participants where they were assured of their privacy, confidentiality, and willingness to withdraw from interview anytime they wanted without any prejudice. After taking consent from the participants, they were be briefed about the research purpose, process, and outcome to preserve confidentiality and anonymity of the data as all interviews and focus groups will be audio recorded. Comfortable, peaceful and noise free condition was provided to the participants for interview. The rules were spelled out before. It took 30-90 minutes. All interviews were transcribed with grammatical changes to improve the flow of the text if needed.
The interview protocol formed on the topic Romantic Jealousy consisted of the introduction, the conceptual definition of the construct, main, additional and clarifying questions which were developed on the basis of literature. The conceptualization of the concept, its causes and the ways to manage the feeling of jealousy was asked keeping in mind the cultural and religious aspect. Probing questions were asked whenever there was a need. Finally wrapping up section included thanking the participants for their time and honest answers.
Step 4: Items Generation
After carrying out interviews, the recorded data was transcribed and then the following items were generated. Item pool constituted of the items which were culturally relevant including the domains of romantic jealousy that is sexual and emotional jealousy. Total 18 items were generated and were rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = not at all true to 5 = completely true and 8 items were reverse coded as it is commonly recommended for a multi-item Likert scale to include both reverse and non-reversed items to reduce acquiescence bias (Swain et al., 2008). Since there was a possibility for participants to show social desirability responses on a construct of romantic jealousy, items 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 18 were reversed items.
Step 5: Establishing Factor Structure
The items were administered on 318 participants and convenient sampling strategy was used based on the willingness of participants. The participants were all educated married men and women as the items assessed romantic jealousy. The sample comprised of 318 participants married men (n = 161) and married women (n = 158) between the age range of 21 to 63 years (M = 36.25; SD = 7.31).
First, construct was conceptualized through theoretical framework and existing literature. The two factors of romantic jealousy were decided based on literature. Total 18 items were retained except two after the process of transcribing interviews and expert advice. Initially pilot study was conducted on 18 participants to know if the questionnaire is well understood by married men and women. For data collection 300 educated married men and women were recruited as the participants and the scale was administered using an online Google form to ensure safety of everyone amidst the pandemic. Before the items written informed consent was presented to the participants ensuring that the data would be used for academic purpose for scale development and validation only and that it won’t be used for any other purpose.
The results of the current study were presented for the development of romantic jealousy scale. Reliability analysis was run initially. For construct validity factor analysis was carried out after checking its assumption by Kaiser-Mayer test. The final factors were extracted by conducting factor analysis at the end.
Reliability analysis was run after reverse coding items 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 18. Initially there were 18 items and Cronbach alpha was α = .81. Most items were worthy of retention except for the items 4, 6 and 17. Therefore, they were deleted and then Cronbach alpha increased to α = .86 and the reliability increased after deleting items 4, 6 and 17. All the other items were retained. Reliability of .86 is considered a good reliability (Field, 2013; Kline, 1999) so no other item was deleted. To assess validity of the scale KMO test was run before to measure the sampling adequacy and to check whether the data was suitable for carrying out factor analysis. The results for KMO test are shows KMO value of .93 which is considered marvelous (Kaiser, 1975). It fulfills the criteria and thus shows that the data is perfect for conducting factor analysis. Moreover, the Bartlett’s test of sphericity was significant (χ2 (105) = 2 299.21, p < .00) proving that the assumption of sphericity was also fulfilled. The assumption for an adequate sample size had also been met since the sample size was 318 and the recommended sample size is 300 (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2013).
In order, to extract factors from romantic jealousy scale, factor analysis was carried out which is as follows.
In addition to the criteria of Eigen values to be greater than 1, Cattell’s (1966) scree plot was also considered to determine the number of factors. To gain further confirmation about the number of factors to be determined, Monto Carlo Parallel (PCA), a computer application was used. The random Eigen values generated by PCA were compared with the Eigen values generated by SPSS. After comparison, two factors of the scale were finalized. Factor analysis of 15 items reveal two factors ensued after analysis by oblique (direct oblimin) rotation was conducted. The analysis reflected that all the items were worth retaining as the loadings were good according to the sample size of 318. Factor loadings .39 are acceptable depending on the sample size (Hair et al., 1998; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). Moreover, there were 11 items under factor 1 and factor 2 consisted of 4 items. The names of the predicted factors were kept based on conceptual clarity and the evidence of previous literature. Following are the two factors determined.
Factor Structure and Item Analysis for Romantic
Jealousy Scale (N = 318)
Fig. 1: Scree-Plot for Factor Determination of The Romantic Jealousy Scale
Factor 1: Sexual Jealousy
Factor of sexual jealousy explained 42.18% variance and constituted of item numbers 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16. Among these items item number 12 had the highest loading. Examples of the items for this subscale include “My spouse is seeing someone else”, “My spouse has abused me out of jealousy”, “My spouse does not let me hangout with opposite sex members”. A higher score on this subscale would refer to higher level of sexual jealousy.
Factor 2: Emotional Jealousy
Factor of emotional jealousy explained 9.89% variance and was constituted of the item numbers 1, 2, 13 and 18. Among these items item number 13 had the highest loading. Examples of the items for this subscale include “My spouse feels ‘geerah’ (protective jealousy) towards me”, “I fear my family won’t support me if I express my feelings of jealousy”, “Feeling jealous is not an acceptable feeling in our culture”. A higher score on this subscale would refer to higher levels of emotional jealousy. The items falling under this subscale were not only related to the emotional domain of romantic jealousy but had religious and cultural elements as well. Married men and women related to these items well as they found it culturally relevant and meaningful.
The main objective of the study was to develop the romantic jealousy scale. The scale was developed considering the religious and cultural components along with the two dimensions of romantic jealousy. It was then validated through factor analysis so that the relevant dimensions could be extracted.
A lot of studies have focused on the interesting aspects of relationships that are very close and intimate. The nature of close relationships being delicate makes them interesting. One of these aspects include jealousy which is a feeling related to many other feelings such as aggression, rumination, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem. There are many disastrous results ending up due to jealousy such as the dissolution of marriage, violence, abuse, murder, depression, and various other marital issues (Pines & Aronson, 1983).
The scale of romantic jealousy was developed following a procedure of conducting interviews, generation of item pool, collection of data and conducting analysis. The two factors that were extracted through factor analysis as predicted by the theory were sexual and emotional romantic jealousy. The analysis reflected that all the items were worth retaining as the loadings were good according to the sample size of 318. Factor loadings .39 are acceptable depending on the sample size (Hair et al., 1998; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). Moreover, there were 11 items under factor 1 and factor 2 consisted of 4 items. The names of the predicted factors were kept based on conceptual clarity and the evidence of previous literature. The items formed included the components of emotional and sexual romantic jealousy incorporating the elements of suspicions and the emotional reactions towards a suspected spouse’s infidelity. Items like “Suspicions have made me adapt a cold behavior towards my spouse”, “The suspicions have come out to be true/real” accounted for the suspicions of a suspected infidelity that instigates romantic jealousy whereas, the emotional content was covered through items like “My spouse feels “geerah” (protective jealousy) towards me”, “My spouse likes if I become a center of attention for my beauty”. An individual experiences sexual jealousy when there is a suspicion or information about the actual or a possible partner’s infidelity whereas, emotional jealousy involves a threat related to the emotional involvement of a partner with a third person (Harvey et al., 2004).
The factors that were generated through factor analysis that is sexual and emotional jealousy are supported by both the previous literature and the social cognitive theory of jealousy. The two factors are supported by the theory in a way that the suspicions which are an integral part of sexual jealousy are prompted by the anticipation of the threat through evaluation. The threat can either be real or imaginary. The suspicions are a result of cognitive appraisal of the threat (Harris, 2003). Anticipating of the threat follows the stage of experiencing emotional reactions to this feeling of jealousy. Once an individual goes through the process of appraisal and evaluation of the threat, he/she experiences sexual and/or emotional jealousy which is the reaction. The major two factors highlighted by the social cognitive theory to instigate romantic jealousy are the threats or challenges to oneself respect, regard, representations, and concepts and the other is the decline in the quality of the relationship shared. There is evidence of such items in the scale that measure those aspects. For example: “My spouse is seeing someone else”, “My spouse does not spend quality time with me”. There are previous literatures and studies as well that support the final generation of the two factors of romantic jealousy. How an individual reacts to a threat that has the power to damage the romantic relationship greatly depends on various factors such as culture, age of the romantic partners, the type of relationship shared by them and the level of intimacy. The extent of jealousy is seen as the sharing that partners can do with the third person and what is out of the league and in inappropriate. It is seen that individuals are more likely to rate emotional aspects of the relationship more important than the physical aspects (DeVisser & McDonald, 2007). An item “My spouse has abused me out of jealousy” is supported by the previous studies on the detrimental effects that sexual jealousy has. Sexual jealousy has been reported to cause some of the major issues between partners. It does not only cause intimate partner violence and abuse (Buss & Duntley, 2011) but also spousal battering (Daly et al., 1982).
As the expression of jealousy and anticipation of threat varies culturally the items were also constructed keeping in mind the cultural and religious aspects of Pakistan. Items such as “My spouse feels ‘geerah’ (protective jealousy) towards me”, “I fear that my family won’t support me if I express my feelings of jealousy” highlighted the important factor of cultural relevance. The difference in how people react is also evident from the findings of previous studies. There is a difference in how to manage the feeling and the behavior towards an unfaithful spouse. Some cultures accept the feeling as a normal response whereas, others consider it a negative feeling accompanied by the punishment and condemning an unfaithful partner (Buss, 2013). It is very important that relational, individual, and cultural factors are considered in order to better understand the phenomena of sexual and emotional jealousy (Guerrero et al., 2004).
LIMITATION AND SUGGESTIONS
As the development and validation of the scale was a course work requirement, convergent and discriminant validity was not assessed due to the short period of time. This scale is appropriate and applicable in Pakistani culture or such collectivistic cultures. It must be adapted for its use on people belonging to different cultures. In future demographics variables such as marriage type, duration of marriage can be taken into consideration while developing relationships and predictions. A scale in future can be adapted in Urdu language as the participants in this project were educated married men and women.
The research study is useful in assessing the levels of romantic jealousy in married men and women of Pakistan as the reliability and validity of the scale is established. Unfortunately, there are no indigenous scales on romantic jealousy; therefore, this scale would be beneficial to assess romantic jealousy incorporating interpersonal, religious and cultural elements in married men and women of Pakistan. This study would aid in providing awareness and psycho educating married individuals and giving them awareness that how their relationship can affect their future, well-being, and longevity of their marriage. The importance of the study is its contribution to the field of social psychology to understand the relationship of married individuals in terms of romantic jealousy and for mental health professionals to resolve issues regarding romantic jealousy as they are associated with other problems like marital discord, abuse, and divorce.
The developed scale was constructed keeping in mind the cultural and religious factors, incorporating the point of views of people living in Pakistan in accordance with romantic jealousy. The steps involved in development and validation of the scale included conceptualization of the construct in terms of literature and theoretical framework. The wording of the items was not direct and addressed the spouse of the participant, also 8 items were reversed to ensure that social desirability response was minimized. The assumptions for carrying out factor analysis were met i.e. adequate sample size, KMO and Barltelett’s test of Sphericity and then factor analysis was carried out. Scree plot, Eigenvalues and parallel analysis was considered before determining the factors of the scale. Finally, the items were assigned to the two factors based on their loadings because of direct oblimin rotation. The two factors finalized were sexual jealousy and emotional jealousy.
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