Matching Items (3)

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Are Online Comparisons Damaging our In-Person Connections? Effects of Social Media Use on Romantic Relationships

Description

Social media has been extensively researched, and its effects on well-being are well established. What is less studied, however, is how social media affects romantic relationships specifically. The few studies that have researched this have found mixed results. Some researchers

Social media has been extensively researched, and its effects on well-being are well established. What is less studied, however, is how social media affects romantic relationships specifically. The few studies that have researched this have found mixed results. Some researchers have found social media to have a positive influence on relationship outcomes, while other have found social media to have a negative influence. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, the current thesis study explored possible mediators between social media use and relationship health outcomes which, to my knowledge, has not been investigated in previous literature. Three moderators were explored: type of social media use (active use versus passive use), relationship-contingent self-esteem, and social comparison orientation. The baseline portion of the study had 547 individuals, recruited from Arizona State University’s SONA system as well as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, who were in a romantic relationship for at least three months; the follow-up portion of the study had 181 participants. Results suggest that women who passively use social media exhibit a negative association between hours per day of social media use and baseline relationship satisfaction. Men who passively use social media exhibited a negative association between hours per day of social media use and follow-up relationship satisfaction, as well as a negative association with baseline commitment. While relationship-contingent self-esteem did not moderate the association between hours per day of social media use and relationship health, it was positively related to both men and women’s baseline relationship satisfaction and baseline commitment. Social comparison orientation (SCO) produced minimal results; women low on SCO exhibited a negative association between social media use and baseline relationship satisfaction, and higher SCO for men was associated with lower baseline commitment. Finally, exploratory post-hoc mediation models revealed that relationship comparisons mediated the association between hours per day of social media use and baseline relationship, as well as baseline commitment, for both men and women. Previous research supports the findings regarding passive social media use, while the findings regarding relationship-contingent self-esteem and relationship comparisons add new findings to the romantic relationship literature.

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Created

Date Created
2019

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A Screenshot Is Worth a Thousand Words: Capturing Affective Behavior in Romantic Dyadic Digital Communication.

Description

Digital communication is increasingly prevalent in adolescent populations. Adolescents estimate that 50-60% of their relational communication occurs via text messaging (Coyne, Stockdale, Busby, Iverson, & Grant, 2011). With the increasing use of technology, conflict and relationship stressors are prevalent online.

Digital communication is increasingly prevalent in adolescent populations. Adolescents estimate that 50-60% of their relational communication occurs via text messaging (Coyne, Stockdale, Busby, Iverson, & Grant, 2011). With the increasing use of technology, conflict and relationship stressors are prevalent online. Social media and text messaging are associated with jealousy, monitoring behavior, and lower emotional support (Arikewuyo et al., 2020, Holtzman et al., 2017). These emerging trends make it critical for researchers to examine how technology can play a role in relationships.

Typically, researchers use questionnaires to see how participants interact in digital spaces. Self-reported methods are not ideal as they have limitations as participants may misrepresent themselves even if it is unintentional. To overcome these limitations, researchers have begun utilizing screenomics, a method in which photos of participants’ screens (screenshots) are taken every 3 seconds when the phone is in active use (Ram et al., 2020). However, these screenshots often lack context for digital interactions and result in large amounts data that may not capture specific events of interest to researchers (Ram et al., 2020). In-person dyadic communication can be studied through observational methods. The SPAFF (Specific Affect Coding System Manual) has been used to examine affectual behaviors because of it has high construct and criterion validity, effectively captures verbal and non-verbal behaviors, and associates discrete behaviors with latent psychological constructs (Coan & Gottman, 2007). It is important to understand if the measures used to study in-person behavior can be adapted to examine digital behavior in order to improve the quality of digital communication research.

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Created

Date Created
2022-05

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A Screenshot Is Worth a Thousand Words: Capturing Affective Behavior in Romantic Dyadic Digital Communication.

Description

Due to the prevalence of digital communication, the importance of digital communication for romantic relationship formation and maintenance, and the associations between online behavior and romantic conflict, it is important to investigate conflict enabled by and conducted through digital communication

Due to the prevalence of digital communication, the importance of digital communication for romantic relationship formation and maintenance, and the associations between online behavior and romantic conflict, it is important to investigate conflict enabled by and conducted through digital communication platforms. Additionally, because of the overrepresentation of self-report measures in studying online relational behavior, it is not known whether current methods of studying in-person conflict apply to digital conflict. The present study thus aimed to examine 1) the efficacy of participant-uploaded screenshots for observing online relationship experiences, and 2) the applicability of the adapted SPAFF coding system (D-SPAFF) to romantic dyadic digital communication. We found acceptable participant compliance and rich data was acquired using this method. We also found affective behavior in screenshots was related to similar concurrent and prospective relationship outcomes as found in the literature. Finally, there were a few unexpected affective behaviors related to relationship outcomes. Our study supports a nuanced theoretical framework for the investigation of online relationship interactions. Future research should continue to validate this method and investigate the unique affordances and mechanisms of digital interactions.

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Created

Date Created
2022-05