Interpersonal Relationships and Health Outcomes


Interpersonal relationships are common between and among people in all parts of the world. Different theoretical models have been suggested to explain different aspects with regard to human social relationships. On the best-explained theory is the attribution theory, which argues that persons presume certain ideas that are associated with the occurrence of events and human deeds.

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The proposed study will aim at understanding the relationship between interpersonal relationships and health outcomes. Random sampling method will be used to identify the study participants from a target population. Data will be analysed statistically so that inferences would be made. The project will take a total of 16 weeks, and it would cost 220USD.


Human beings have been developing interpersonal relationships, which are characterised by close interactions between two people or among a group of individuals (Longres, 2000). Research has established that the closest interactions among persons are found within the family because they act as the smallest social units across the world. While people develop interpersonal relationships for various purposes, it is difficult to nurture and maintain such interactions. In fact, the desire to relate interpersonally is based on social commitment factors such as mutual love, inference and business relationships, among others (Longres, 2000).

Laws, customs and/or mutual accords control associations, but they are founded on platforms of social unions and society. It is worth noting that interpersonal relationships could be exhibited as connections between persons, for example, romantic associations. In addition, persons could establish interactions in small or big groups of people. For example, a bishop should develop a relationship with his or her congregation so that he or she could spread religious messages effectively.

Also, an elected leader establishes an interaction with his or her electorate for effective representation. Relationships between or among people can be likened to dynamic systems, which can vary in a continuous manner during their existence. However, they are characterised by gradual growth and improvement because people learn more about each other as time progresses, which leads to more better emotional attachments (Longres, 2000).

On the other hand, they gradually become worse as persons involved move away and establish fresh interactions with others. It has been found that there are many benefits of satisfying interactions between or among people. It is also important to note that individuals can evaluate the type of their relationships (good or bad) by analysing their qualities.

Research question and research purpose

The proposed study will adopt a descriptive research design that will aim at exploring and explaining the impact of interpersonal relationships on personal health outcomes. In fact, the purpose of the research will be to offer more details about the topic. The approach does not rely on guesses but on the analysis of data. The study will adopt the hypothesis and research question described below:

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  • Social issue: Bad health outcomes
  • Hypothesis: People who are not in good interpersonal relationships are characterised by bad health outcomes.
  • Research question: What is the relationship between interpersonal relationships and health outcomes?


The background of the research topic is founded on various theories that have been formulated to explain interpersonal relationships. In fact, many advantages are associated with analysing interactions from the standpoint of the theoretical approaches. However, it would not be wise to adopt exclusively one theory and ignore the other theories. This would result in limiting an understanding with regard to social interactions in society (Longres, 2000).

It is important to view interactions between and among persons using the aspect of attributions, which are defined as presumptions that are made by individuals in line with factors that cause events and behaviours in life (Kelley, 2013). The main goal of forming attributions is to comprehend human experiences. In fact, they greatly influence how persons socialise with each other in their relationships. Attribution theory argues that the presumptions that are made by people regarding the occurrence of events and behaviours can be either internal or external (Longres, 2000).

With regard to an internal attribution, people make conclusions about events and human deeds based on factors that are determined by individual traits, capabilities and/or emotions. On the other hand, external attributions are associated with inferences that are arrived at with regard to deeds because of the impacts of situational issues. Attribution theory also suggests that some presumptions could be stable or unstable. Stable attributions hold that events and behaviours result from unchanging factors, which cannot be manipulated by individuals. Contrary, unstable presumptions hold that an event or deed can only happen when it impacted by temporary factors that can be easily changed by persons at will.

Having highlighted the core dimensions of attribution model, it is essential to mention that it acts as a motivational approach that analyses how persons are motivated to find causes of deeds and events in their surroundings (Jackson-Dwyer, 2013). When people make attributions with regard to their environments, they attain cognitive control, which enables them to explain and understand the causes of certain human deeds and environmental occurrences (Kelley, 2013).

Interpersonal relationships can also be analysed from the perspective of the minding relationship theory, which is applied in evaluating how closeness in interactions may be improved (Jackson-Dwyer, 2013). Minding is characterised by a chain of factors such as thoughts, emotions and human deeds that are common features in social interactions (Longres, 2000). With regard to the theoretical model, people should:

  • Know others and be known
  • Make relationships
  • Accept and respect others
  • Maintain reciprocity
  • Continue minding

The concept of rewards of any form of interpersonal relationship is found in the social exchange theory, which defines a reward with regard to social interaction as an outcome that an individual derives from such a union (Longres, 2000). The theoretical approach argues that such a reward or rewards should exceed or be equal to the costs that are associated with forming and maintaining associations between or among people. Thus, it would be expected that a person would only focus on maintaining unions that offer the most benefits and present the least costs (Kelley, 2013).

The equity theory was postulated to explain further the social exchange theory, which presumes that persons are not only encouraged to attain a positive reward in their unions but also to achieve high levels of equity. For example, in a relationship between two people, the rewards and costs that are encountered by one partner should also be attained by the other partner (Longres, 2000).

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Researchers have asserted that this is a complex model that involves the application of mathematical calculations that are aimed at evaluating the costs and rewards that are found in social interactions (Longres, 2000).

Human beings have been found to exhibit high levels of fear and anxiety, which require them to compare their emotions with those of other persons. This concept is based on the confirming and valuing relationship theory, which is important in helping people to validate their feelings and appreciate themselves. The theory occurs in three stages. First, a person identifies the presence of other persons. Second, an individual acknowledges the ideas and emotions of another person. Third, partners in a union agree to form and maintain a relationship (Kelley, 2013; Longres, 2000).

The attachment/affiliation theory asserts that human beings are like social animals because they aim at seeking the company of others. Thus, an individual would be comfortable in the company of another person, but be uncomfortable when the person is absent. Illustrations that could be utilised to explain the theoretical model are the attachment of kids to caregivers and the affiliation that characterise romantic relationships (Longres, 2000).

Although interpersonal relationships involve persons, it has been argued that such interactions are characterised by process thinking that recognises interconnections and cycles that are found in life (Jackson-Dwyer, 2013; Longres, 2000). The process-thinking concept is incorporated in the systems theory, which views interactions as the results of the impacts of various factors such as biotic factors and abiotic factors.


The proposed study will use methods that will involve the collection and analysis of data. A sample size of 100 respondents will be used. Face-to-face surveys will be used to collect data from the study participants. The study will be both qualitative and quantitative in design. Data that will be collected through a qualitative approach will be coded so that it would be converted to numbers that would be easily analysed through statistical tools.

Conceptualisation and operationalisation

The proposed project will adopt definitions and operationalisation, as indicated below:

Independent variable

  • Conceptual definition: Bad interpersonal unions
  • Operational definition 1: What is your current total number of interpersonal interactions?
  • Operational definition 2: What is the average number of relationships that you break on an annual basis?

Dependent variable

  • Conceptual definition: Health outcomes
  • Operational definition 1: How many times do you visit a hospital in a year?
  • Operational definition 2: How many diseases do you suffer from in a year? (Name them).

Control variables

  • Conceptual definition for control number 1: Gender
  • The operational definition for control number 1: What is your gender? (Male or Female)
  • The operational definition for control number 2: Family background
  • The operational definition for control number 2: What do you consider the class of your family? (Upper class, middle class, working-class, or lower class).

How the method will be conducted

The method will be conducted using established protocols that would result in high-quality data that would be manipulated statistically to yield important findings, which would be utilised to make essential conclusions regarding the topic. If it would be established that some protocols would not be effective, then they would be changed. Computers would be used to store the collected data, which would be analysed later.

Sampling issues

The study will focus on using a uniform unit of analysis, and this will lead to reliable results that will be important in making inferences. Specifically, numbers would be analysed in the form of percentages so that comparisons among study participants can be made. The target population will be both males and females who will be living in a certain locality. From the target population, a sample will be identified.

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The universe of the sample used in the study could be stated as being the entire number of students in the locality where the research will be conducted. The sampling frame in the study will be complete because it will contain all the persons and their full details with regard to drinking their interpersonal relationships and health outcomes (Babbie, 2013).

A simple random sample will be utilised. This type of sample will ensure that study respondent will be picked in a random manner from a group of potential study participants (Babbie, 2013; Creswell, 2013). With regard to the sample, repetitions could not be accepted in the study because the population will be numbered from 0 to n.

Protection of human subjects

The study will not involve the use of a human specimen for analysis. Thus, it will not require to adopt approaches that would be aimed at protecting humans from any form of harm. However, the study participants will be informed about the intentions of the study and its expected benefits. In addition, they would be required to give their consent.


The study will adopt the following timeframe with a view to completing all the planned activities within their deadlines:

Step Time
Proposal writing 3 weeks
Training of personnel to collect data 1 week
Data collection 7 weeks
Data analysis 2 weeks
Project writing 3 weeks

Figure 1. A table showing the timeframe of the proposed study.


A budget is very important to every research activity because it provides financial estimates of all research steps (Creswell, 2013). The study will use the following budget:

Activity Cost in USD
Training of personnel to collect data 90
Travelling 70
Stationery 40
Miscellaneous (10%) 20
Total 220

Figure 2. A table showing the budget of the proposed project.


Babbie, E. (2013). The basics of social research (6th Ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Web.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Web.

Jackson-Dwyer, D. (2013). Interpersonal relationships (Vol. 10). London, United Kingdom: Routledge. Web.

Kelley, H. H. (2013). Personal relationships: Their structures and processes. New York, NY: Psychology Press. Web.

Longres, J. F. (2000). Human behavior in the social environment (1st Ed). Itasca, IL: FE Peacock Publishers. Web.

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