Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wallace E. Dixon Jr.

Committee Members

Andrea D. Clements, Peggy J. Cantrell


The present study examined the possibility that adult romantic attachment orientation, empathy, and social skills could either individually or jointly influence the expression of mate poaching behaviors. Participants (N = 404) were recruited from a Southern Appalachian university and ranged in age from 18-60 years, with a mean of 21. Data were collected using a web-based survey system. Results of this study lend support to the growing literature demonstrating a link between adult romantic attachment and mate poaching. Additionally, the present study also added to the literature by showing for the first time 1) a relationship between empathy and mate poaching and 2) a relationship between social skills and mate poaching. Contrary to one of the hypothesized structural models, adult attachment was not found to mediate the relationships between 1) empathy and mate poaching and 2) social skills and mate poaching.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.