Perceptions of risk in intimacy

Constance J. Pilkington, Deborah R. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Two studies were conducted to design and validate a measure of perceptions of risk in intimacy. A 10-item scale with high internal consistency was developed and related to romantic involvement, self-esteem, assertiveness, interpersonal trust, sensation seeking, extraversion and attitudes toward love. Individuals who scored high on this ‘Risk in Intimacy Inventory’ (i.e. who perceived high levels of risk in intimate relationships) reported fewer close relationships, less assertiveness, diminished trust in others, more introverted tendencies, and more hesitant approaches toward love than did individuals who scored lower on the scale. High scoring respondents also reported relatively high levels of thrill and adventure seeking and boredom susceptibility on the Sensation Seeking Scale. Potential applications of the scale are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1988
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this