A person-oriented approach to love styles: Exploring individual differences in conceptualizations of love

by Randy W. Overbeek

Institution: Texas Tech University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Close relationships; Love styles; Configural frequency analysis; Cluster analysis; Taxometric analysis; Mixture modeling
Record ID: 2024983
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2346/58694


Love styles have been a topic of research in close relationships for more than twenty-five years. There has been a great deal of success in finding associations among the six continuous subscales of the Love Attitudes Scale (LAS) and other variables of interest. All such work has been variable-oriented, largely ignoring individual differences in persons completing the LAS. Rather than six separate continuous variables, the styles could also be levels of a categorical variable, such that each person is assigned to a single style that best describes him or her. Although both uses of the love styles have merit, the person-oriented categorical approach has not been adequately pursued. For my dissertation, I explored the person-oriented approach using frequency analysis, clustering techniques, taxometric analysis, and mixture modeling on a large available sample. Using these statistical techniques, I found some evidence supporting both the variable and person-oriented approaches. More research will be required to sort out the viability of each approach in order to clarify the nature of the love style construct, hopefully make more meaningful statements about individuals (and not just variables), and to show how the categorical approach might open up new opportunities for the love style paradigm.