Effects of Romantic Relationships on Academic Performance

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EFFECTS OF ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
MATTHEW E. KOPFLER
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY
Sponsored by: MUKUL BHALLA (bhalla@loyno.edu)
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ABSTRACT
This study was conducted to discover whether or not there is an association between academic performance and involvement in a romantic relationship amongst undergraduate college students. The variables looked at were dating status (single or involved), level of involvement in the relationship, and grade point average. Variables were calculated on a survey measuring relationship and school satisfaction. Seventy-five undergraduate students attending Loyola University New Orleans were surveyed. Approximately fifty-one percent of those surveyed were involved in a relationship. The relationship assumed between grade point average and dating status was not supported by the data. However, students involved in a relationship experienced more stress when facing deadlines for school. The data has not revealed any clear correlation in the study between dating status and academic performance, though hopefully further research in this idea will prove beneficial. [pic]

INTRODUCTION
On a daily basis, college students are faced with a conflict of interest: to study or not to study. Often times these decisions are affected by outside factors that are beyond the control of the student (i.e. work, athletics, involvement in organizations). One other factor that is believed to be a major influence is the existence of a significant other. While involved in a relationship during college, one might be forced to choose either studying for school or spending time with the significant other, leaving the student with increased amounts of stress. Level of commitment to the relationship must also be taken into consideration. A student who is involved in an exclusive relationship differs from the student involved in a casual dating relationship. Many factors contribute to a student’s struggling grades; the aim of this research was to isolate the effects of dating on a student’s academic performance. An article found on the Internet, which related to the topic of interest, showed research where Sgobbo(2000) studied the disadvantages and advantages of dating in college. It was found that one hundred percent of the fifty male participants surveyed agreed that dating in college provides benefits. It was also shown that males who dated while in college felt a higher level of self-esteem through social interaction. Dating provided them constant interaction with students of the opposite sex. The research mainly focused on the benefits of these relationships in college as it related to the individuals self esteem and interaction while in social settings. An individual’s social skills are being developed throughout life. One of the most crucial times in this development is high school. A study conducted by Quatman, Sampson, Robinson and Watson (2001) among high school students in California. Researchers examined the relationship between dating status and academic achievement, academic motivation, depression, and self-esteem. Although high school students do not face as many distractions, the affiliation can still be made between the two. The research focused on the frequency of dating and not so much the level of commitment. Results showed a relationship between dating more frequently and lower academic performance. Dating frequency and level of commitment are two of the underlying factors that define a relationship; marriage being the highest level of commitment and frequent dating of more than one person being towards the bottom of...
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