Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Kara Wettersten


Despite the emergent norm in U.S. society for partnered individuals across all sexual orientations to possess both same-sex and cross-sex friends (Weis & Felton, 1987), and the relative complexity that comes with having friends who belong to the sex to which one is sexually attracted, the field is lagging in its ability to measure and better understand individuals’ attitudes about their partners’ engagement in the various behaviors of which these friendships are comprised. The existing scales of extradyadic behaviors are largely measuring individuals’ attitudes about engagement in sexual behaviors with cross-sex friends within the heterosexual population; therefore, they are inadequate for measuring attitudes about nonsexual extradyadic behaviors, especially across sexual orientations. For this reason, the purpose of this study was to develop the Partners’ Approval of Nonsexual Extradyadic Behaviors Scale (PANEBS), which measures individuals’ attitudes about the acceptability of their partners engaging in nonsexual extradyadic behaviors across three norming groups; those with heterosexual identified partners, those with gay or lesbian identified partners, and those with bisexual identified partners. This research endeavor is comprised of three different studies, including the Pilot Study, Confirmation Study, and Test-Retest Study. The PANEBS was subjected to exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and test-retest analysis with three different national samples, totaling 1,298 participants all together. Results across studies suggest that the PANEBS is a psychometrically robust instrument, as evidenced by its comprehensive though brief composition, high internal consistency, empirically and theoretically sound higher-order factor structure, strong validity, and established test-retest reliability. Not only has the development and validation of the PANEBS provided the field with an improved way to research and clinically examine attitudes about nonsexual extradyadic behaviors within the heterosexual population, but also it has finally opened this area of study to sexual minority populations.