Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Arts
Bridges, Ana J.
Burris, Sidney, 1953-
Currently, the research concerning technologyâ€™s impact on coupleâ€™s communication is scarce. Although anecdotal evidence suggests mobile devices may be negatively impacting romantic couplesâ€™ communication and intimacy, to date, no research has been done that looks at how technological distractions, such as text messaging, impact couples. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that distractions by mobile devices had on couplesâ€™ feelings of connectedness during a dyadic interaction focused on solving a specific relationship problem. Participants included 40 heterosexual couples who had been in a romantic relationship at least 6 months. Couples were randomly assigned to either a control group or an experimental group. All couples were asked to discuss a current problem in their relationship. Couples in the experimental group discussed their problems for 15 minutes while being constantly interrupted by text messages from the researcher, while couples in the control group were not interrupted. Both sets of couples completed measures assessing their relationship satisfaction, perceptions of the problem-solving interaction, perceptions of their ability to communicate, and the level of intimacy and commitment they experienced. Results of the experiment showed that mobile device distractions had no impact on men and womenâ€™s perceptions of communication, intimacy, or commitment. Correlational data showed an association between problematic (but not excessive) use of mobile devices (talking on cell phones, texting) and lower relationship satisfaction in men, but not in women. Although experimental data did not support the hypothesized relation between mobile device distraction and problematic dyadic interactions, correlational data suggest this association may exist and is worthy of additional investigation.
Servies, Alyssa, "Cell Phones and Couple Communication: The Impact of Mobile Device Distractions during a Dyadic Interaction" (2012). Psychological Science Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1.