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Recent studies suggest that the online and offline behaviors young people display in romantic relationships are closely related. However, the differential effects of the dimensions of couple quality in the online context have not yet been explored in depth. The aim of this study was to explore online couple quality in young-adult relationships, and its association with romantic relationship satisfaction, also looking at effects of gender, age, and length of the relationship. 431 university students currently in a romantic relationship (68.2% females; mean age = 21.57) participated in this study. They completed different self-report measures to tap the online quality of their romantic relationships (online intimacy, control, jealousy, intrusiveness, cyberdating practices, and communication strategies) and level of satisfaction with those relationships. Results showed that participants more often reported online intimacy ( Mmen = 2.49; Mwomen = 2.38) than the negative scales of online quality (mean ranged from .43 to 1.50), and all the online quality scales decreased with age (correlations ranged from –.12 to –.30) and relationship length (correlations ranged from –.02 to –.20). Linear regression analyses indicated that online intimacy ( b = .32, p = .001) and intrusiveness ( b = .11, p = .035) were positively related to relationship satisfaction, while cyberdating practices ( b = –.20, p = .001) and communication strategies ( b = –.34, p = .001) were negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction. Moreover, gender and relationship length moderated some of these associations. Results indicate that while online quality and relationship satisfaction are related, the impact of different online quality dimensions on relationship satisfaction differs depending on a participant’s sex, age, and relationship length.
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology (2017), 20, e24, 1–10.
© Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid
There is no longer any doubt that Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) is part of everyday
life for young adults; they use it to communicate, and
as a tool to learn and explore. Subrahmanyam and
Šmahel (2011) proposed a theoretical model to analyze
young people’s online behavior from a psychodevel-
opmental perspective. According to those authors, ICT
(understood as using mobile devices and social net-
working) has become a real space for young people’s
development and learning, a context in which they can
express themselves and grapple with the main chal-
lenges of their age, which revolve around assuming
responsibility in different spheres of social and per-
sonal life, including romantic life (Brown & Bobkowski,
2011; Shulman & Connolly, 2013). From that point of
view, one would expect online and offline behavior to
be related, not only reflecting young people’s interests
and concerns, but providing two-way feedback.
Studies of online behavior in young adults seem to
confirm Subrahmanyan and Šmahel’s postulates (2011)
that young adults use the Internet in fundamental
ways to communicate with their romantic partner and
develop the relationship (Fox & Warber, 2013), and
publicly share emotional states, photos, and other con-
tent from their romantic relationships (Carpenter &
Spottwood, 2013). By the same token, it has been sug-
gested that online couple behavior influences percep-
tions of the romantic relationship overall. For example,
Caughlin and Sharabi (2013) analyzed online and offline
behavior in the form of private and public messages via
Internet, text messages, chat, video chat, and phone calls
between American young adults and their romantic
partners. They concluded that people who adopted both
modes of communication, in a balanced way, had more
favorable results in terms of intimacy and relationship
satisfaction than those who used only one (online or
offline), and those who had trouble switching online to
offline or vice versa. Similarly, Morey and her collabora-
tors (Morey, Gentzler, Creasy, Oberhauser, & Westerman,
2013) found that communicating via phone and text
message was associated with greater relationship satis-
faction and intimacy in American young adults.
Romantic Relationship Quality in the Digital Age:
A Study with Young Adults
Virginia Sánchez1, Noelia Muñoz-Fernández1 and Rosario Ortega-Ruiz2
1 Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)
2 Universidad de Córdoba (Spain)
Abstract. Recent studies suggest that the online and offline behaviors young people display in romantic relationships are
closely related. However, the differential effects of the dimensions of couple quality in the online context have not yet
been explored in depth. The aim of this study was to explore online couple quality in young-adult relationships, and its
association with romantic relationship satisfaction, also looking at effects of gender, age, and length of the relationship.
431 university students currently in a romantic relationship (68.2% females; mean age = 21.57) participated in this study.
They completed different self-report measures to tap the online quality of their romantic relationships (online intimacy,
control, jealousy, intrusiveness, cyberdating practices, and communication strategies) and level of satisfaction with those
relationships. Results showed that participants more often reported online intimacy (Mmen = 2.49; Mwomen = 2.38) than the
negative scales of online quality (mean ranged from .43 to 1.50), and all the online quality scales decreased with age
(correlations ranged from –.12 to –.30) and relationship length (correlations ranged from –.02 to –.20). Linear regression
analyses indicated that online intimacy (b = .32, p = .001) and intrusiveness (b = .11, p = .035) were positively related to rela-
tionship satisfaction, while cyberdating practices (b = –.20, p = .001) and communication strategies (b = –.34, p = .001) were
negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction. Moreover, gender and relationship length moderated some of these
associations. Results indicate that while online quality and relationship satisfaction are related, the impact of different
online quality dimensions on relationship satisfaction differs depending on a participant’s sex, age, and relationship length.
Received 5 May 2016; Revised 24 March 2017; Accepted 27 March 2017
Keywords: communication, online couple quality, romantic relationships, satisfaction, young people.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Virginia Sánchez Jiménez. Departmento de Psicología Evolutiva y de
la Educación. Universidad de Sevilla. C/ Camilo José Cela, s/n. 41018.
Seville (Spain). Phone: +34–954557650. Fax: +34–954557650.
This research was funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y
Competitividad into the national I+D program: (PSI2013-45118-R).
Parejas y redes de iguales en la adolescencia. Noelia Muñoz-Fernández has
a grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
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2 V. Sánchez et al.
More numerous studies have analyzed the relation
between negative online relationship dynamics and
different indicators of romantic relationship quality in
young adults. For instance, online jealousy – understood
as an emotional reaction prompted by visualizing
online relationship content – and concerns and suspi-
cions about a partner’s interest in someone else (Utz &
Beukeboom, 2011) have been associated with low levels
of relationship satisfaction (Elphinston & Noller, 2011),
and predict involvement in psychological (Strawhun,
Adams, & Huss, 2013) and physical abuse (Sánchez,
Muñoz, Nocentini, Ortega-Ruiz, & Menesini, 2014). On
the other hand, research on online intrusive behavior,
which is understood as repeated, obsessive attempts
to initiate contact and communicate with a partner
after a break-up or fight, has revealed that people who
exhibit these behaviors in online mode do so offline
too (Spitzberg & Hoobler, 2002; Strawhun et al., 2013),
and has linked it to low relationship quality (Lavy,
Mikulincer, Shaver, & Gillath, 2009) as well as intimate
partner abuse (Sánchez et al., 2014; Strawhun et al.,
2013). Regarding online monitoring or control, that is,
surveillance and tracking of the partner’s online activity
(Tokunaga, 2011), results have been inconclusive. Some
studies have found negative associations between con-
trol and relationship satisfaction (Elphinston & Noller,
2011), while other studies have not (Stewart, Dainton, &
Goodboy, 2014). Finally, the research on online infidelity,
understood as using ICT to flirt or contact others, have
produced similarly disparate results: some studies
related it to lower relationship satisfaction (Cravens,
Leckie, & Whiting, 2013), while others found it was
more closely tied to sensation-seeking behaviors than
low relationship satisfaction (Hertlein & Stevenson,
2010). What these studies do clearly suggest is that
while positive online practices – like using ICT to com-
municate with one’s partner, and spending time together
online – are related to positive relationship outcomes,
associations with negative online relationship dynamics
have been inconclusive.
In addition to those findings, differences in online
practices and relationship satisfaction have been
observed as a function of sex, age, and relationship
length. The research suggests that women are involved
in longer, more serious relationships with higher satis-
faction (Dhariwal, Connolly, Paciello, & Caprara, 2009;
Rauer, Pettit, Lansford, Bates, & Dodge, 2013), but tend
to exhibit more online jealousy (Muise, Christofides, &
Desmarais, 2014). Men, meanwhile, tend to engage in
more cyberbullying and cyberdating (Duran-Segura &
Martínez-Pecino, 2015; Sánchez, Muñoz-Fernández, &
Ortega-Ruiz, 2015). To date, we do not know of previous
studies that relate age to higher relationship satisfac-
tion, but it does seem to be negatively associated with
Internet usage (Correa, Hinsley, & De Zuniga, 2010) and
certain online practices, such as partner monitoring
(Tokunaga, 2011). Studies exploring the effect of rela-
tionship length appear to be more conclusive, indicating
that more enduring couples feel more satisfied with
their relationships (Ahmetoglu, Swami, & Chamorro-
Premuzic, 2010; Hurley & Reese-Weber, 2012) and uti-
lize the Internet less (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014). Recently,
Rahaman (2015) concluded that long-term couples pre-
sented less online conflicts, and therefore greater com-
mitment to the relationship.
In light of the above, the literature suggests that the
kind of relationship dynamics a couple establishes
online impacts their satisfaction with the relationship;
However, it could be hypothesized that this associa-
tion can differ as a function of sex, age, and relation-
ship length. The research to date on this association
has focused on specific online behaviors – like jealousy,
control, communication, and intrusiveness – only
sometimes including the effects of variables like sex
(Muise et al., 2014), age (Tokunaga, 2011), and relation-
ship length (Rahaman, 2015). Thus, we do not know
with certainty what dimensions of online couple
quality are most important to explaining relationship
satisfaction, nor what effect those three variables might
have on the association.
In Spain, research on this subject remains nascent.
Many studies have analyzed cyberbullying in young
couples (Durán-Segura & Martínez-Pecino, 2015) in
relation to offline violence (Sánchez et al., 2014), but
we know of no study that analyzed how online couple
quality contributes to relationship satisfaction in a col-
lege population. In this study, we understand relation-
ship satisfaction as an indicator of relationship quality,
and as characterized by intimacy, communication, and
a desire to stay in the relationship (Madsen & Collins,
2011). With that in mind, this study’s first objective is to
analyze online relationship quality in young adult,
Spanish couples, taking into account the effects of sex,
age, and relationship duration. The second objective is
to explore the connection between online relationship
quality and relationship satisfaction, specifically ana-
lyzing which dimensions of online couple quality (inti-
macy, jealousy, control, intrusiveness, communication,
or cyberdating practices) are most closely related to
relationship satisfaction, and to include the possible
effects of age, sex, and relationship length in the results.
According to earlier studies’ findings, we expect
that women will exhibit more online jealousy (Muise
et al., 2014) and men more cyberdating (Sánchez et al.,
2015), and that in general, positive and negative online
practices will decrease with age (Tokunaga, 2011) and
length of the relationship (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014).
Regarding the relationship between online couple
quality and relationship satisfaction, we expect that posi-
tive dynamics like online intimacy will be positively
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Relationship Quality in the Digital Age 3
associated with relationship satisfaction (Caughlin &
Sharabi, 2013; Morey et al., 2013). Since findings in
Spain about negative online couple quality have been
scant and inconclusive, we have formulated no clear
hypothesis about it. It is for that reason that the second
objective aims to further our understanding of this
association by generating new data.
Initially, 793 college students at the University of Córdoba
(Spain) participated in this study. From those, 431 were
selected because they reported a current dating rela-
tionship (68.2% women; age range 18 to 26 years,
average age 21.57, SD = 1.92). Participants were selected
through convenience sampling from the departments
of Literature (10.8%), Education (26%), Law (3.9%),
Business Administration and Management (4.2%),
Occupational Science (11.4%), Veterinary and Medicine
(19.3%), Biology (3.2%), and Engineering (19.3%), heed-
ing Ferrer and collaborators’ (2006) remarks about the
impact of curriculum on romantic relationship knowl-
edge (Ferrer, Bosh, Ramis, & Navarro, 2006). The stu-
dents’ distribution by department was representative
of the university sample at large.
The sample’s characteristics and descriptive results
appear in Table 1.
Ad hoc measures
Participants were asked about descriptive variables
including sex, age, family level of education, and hours
of Internet use.
Relationship status
Two items from the Dating Questionnaire (Connolly,
Craig, Goldberg, & Pepler, 2004) were posed. The first
gauges relationship status and was multiple-choice
(response categories as follows: a) Yes, I have a girl(boy)
friend right now; b) No, I don’t have a girl(boy)friend
right now, but I had one in the last two months; c) I don’t
have a girl(boy)friend right now, but I did more than
two months ago; d) No, I’ve never had a girl(boy)
friend). The second item measures relationship length
in weeks. The relationship status variable was applied
as a filter, such that only participants who reported a
romantic relationship at the time they completed the
questionnaire were selected for this study.
Relationship satisfaction
This was assessed using six items from the Network of
Relationships Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1992),
measured on a 5-point Likert scale with anchors 0 (never)
and 4 (all the time) (e.g., “I am sure this relationship will
continue in the future ” “I tell my boy/girlfriend things
I would not want others to know”). A given partici-
pant’s relationship satisfaction score was computed
from his or her average scores.
Online couple quality
This was measured by the Cyberdating Q_A (Sánchez
et al., 2015). The questionnaire is comprised of 28 items
on a 5-point Likert scale (from never-0 to always-4)
that analyze six dimensions of online couple quality:
(1) four items about online jealousy, which is a person’s
emotional reaction and concerns about content shared
by their partner, and the possibility that he or she is
interested in someone else (e.g., “I get jealous when my
partner posts provocative photos on their social net-
work profile;” “I worry about my partner starting a
relationship with someone else via social networks”);
(2) four items about online intrusive behavior, that is,
trying to resume communication after an argument by
means of mass, insistent messages and calls (e.g., “When
we’ve had an argument and my partner blocks me,
I use a friend’s profile to leave him/her messages,
communicate by chat or on their page;” “When we’ve
had an argument and my partner blocks me, I use a
friend’s profile to leave him/her messages, communi-
cate by chat or on their page”); (3) six items about
online control, which is the process of supervising and
monitoring the partner’s profile and online activity in
his or her social network (e.g., “I have added my part-
ner’s friends as a way of controlling him/her;” “I have
opened a fake account so that my partner adds me and
I can control him/her”); (4) three items about online
intimacy, which refers to shared time on the Internet
Table 1. Sample Descriptive Statistics
Sex Men 137 (31.8%)
Women 294 (68.2%)
Father’s level of
None 14 (3.4%)
Elementary school 188 (45.3%)
Secondary school 110 (26.6%)
Higher education 101 (24.2%)
Other 2 (0.5%)
Mother’s level
of education
None 17 (4%)
Elementary school 192 (45.3%)
Secondary school 125 (29.3%)
Higher education 88 (20.9%)
Other 2 (0.5%)
Relationship length
(M; SD)
135.01 (104.09)
Age (M; SD) 21.57 (1.92)
Note: Father’s level of education (n = 415); Mother’s level
of education (n = 424).
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4 V. Sánchez et al.
and a feeling of closeness to one’s partner while online
(e.g., “I have a really good time with my partner when
we’re online together;” “I spend a lot of free time talk-
ing to my partner on chat”); (5) four items about cyber-
dating practices, that is, contacting and flirting with
other parties while in a relationship (e.g., “I have
‘flirted’ with other people via social networks whilst in
a relationship;” “When I meet someone I like, I quickly
give them my mobile number”); and (6) seven items
referring to emotional communication strategies, which are
tactics to manipulate or control one’s partner, or dis-
play anger or show that there is a problem (e.g., “I use
capital letters when I am annoyed with my partner;”
“I use ellipses to insinuate something to my partner”).
Scores on these online quality scales are calculated
using participants’ average scores. According to earlier
results reported by the scale’s authors, online intimacy
is considered a positive dimension of online couple
quality, and the remaining dimensions are negative.
These self-report instruments were administered in
paper form during school time in a single 40-minute
session. Participants completed an informed consent
form, and participation was entirely voluntary. Trained
researchers executed data collection and we ensured
the confidentiality of all information collected.
Data analysis
The first step was to do two Confirmatory Factor
Analyses (CFAs) of online couple quality and relation-
ship satisfaction in order to validate the instruments
in this study’s sample. Next, means comparisons were
done as a function of gender, using Student’s t test
on each scale of online couple quality and romantic
relationship satisfaction. Subsequently, we analyzed
Pearson’s correlations between age, relationship dura-
tion, online couple quality, and relationship satisfac-
tion. These analyses were done separately for men and
women in order to differentially analyze the associa-
tion between these variables by gender. To satisfy this
study’s second objective, a multiple linear regression
was done using a step-wise method; in it, relationship
satisfaction was the dependent variable, and sex, age,
relationship length, and online couple quality were
independent variables. Moderating variables (sex, age,
and relationship length) were entered into a first block;
a second block included the dimensions of online
couple quality; and the third block added the interaction
terms of the moderating variables in online couple
quality: the interaction between sex and each dimension
of online couple quality, the interaction between age and
each dimension of online couple quality, and the interac-
tion between relationship duration and each dimension
of online couple quality. To diminish collinearity issues,
all the independent variables were first standardized;
all interactions were computed using standardized
variables. The gender variable was coded such that a
value of 0 was assigned to men, and 1 to women.
Analyses were conducted using the statistics pack-
ages Lisrel 8.72 and SPSS 23. Goodness of fit of the
models resulting from CFA was appraised based on
Satorra-Bentler’s chi-square, RMSEA, and CFI. We
determined that goodness of fit was adequate when
the value of RMSEA was under .08, and CFI over .90.
Preliminary analyses
Two CFAs were tested, one for online couple quality
and another for romantic relationship satisfaction.
The model of online quality revealed a high correlation
between online jealousy and online control (r = .91),
so we test a model with five correlated factors where
those two scales merged into one factor. The remaining
scales were the same as in the original instrument:
online intrusiveness, online intimacy, cyberdating prac-
tices, and emotional communication strategies. The
results of relationship satisfaction CFA, meanwhile,
suggested freeing the correlations between error terms
in three items (see Table 2). Both models showed good-
ness of fit.
Descriptive analyses
This study’s first objective was to analyze online cou-
ple quality in romantic relationships between young
adults as a function of sex, age, and relationship length.
Table 3 presents means and standard deviations of online
quality and relationship satisfaction as a function of
sex. Evidently online intimacy, emotional communica-
tion strategies, and relationship satisfaction had the
highest means, exceeding 3 points in young men and
Table 2. Goodness of Fit Indices for Online Couple Quality and
Relationship Satisfaction
χ2 S-B df p RMSEA CFI
Online quality 759.99 314 <.001 .06 .94
Relationship satisfaction* 19.27 6 <.001 .08 .99
Note: Robust maximum likelihood estimation was
employed because the assumption of multivariate normal
distribution was not met. *Correlations between the error
terms in three items were added; they measure relationship
satisfaction. (Reliability: Online intimacy α = .68; cyberdating
practices α = .60; online intrusiveness α = .65; emotional
communication strategies α = .76; online jealousy-control
α = .81; romantic relationship satisfaction α = .87.)
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Relationship Quality in the Digital Age 5
women alike. Online intrusiveness, conversely, had the
lowest means. Significant differences were only found
on the cyberdating practices dimension (t(422) = 3.552;
p < .01, d = .35), on which men scored higher than
women on average, though the effect size was small.
Table 4 lists the correlations of age and relationship
duration with online couple quality and relationship
satisfaction, as a function of sex.
According to the results, age was negatively related to
online intimacy, cyberdating practices, online jealousy-
control, and emotional communication strategies in
men as well as women. Furthermore, it was not related
to relationship satisfaction, but was related to relation-
ship length in women. In terms of relationship dura-
tion, this was negatively associated with cyberdating
practices in both sexes. In women only, we found
that relationship length was negatively associated with
online intimacy and emotional communication strat-
egies. In men, no relationship was found between rela-
tionship duration and the other dimensions of online
couple quality. All significant correlations registered a
small or medium effect size.
Regression model of the association between online couple
quality and relationship satisfaction
Table 5 presents results from the multiple linear regres-
sion model. As in the results in the last step, Model 7,
we observed that relationship satisfaction was explained
by relationship length, online intimacy, cyberdating
practices, emotional communication strategies, online
intrusiveness, the interaction between sex and com-
munication strategies, and the interaction between
relationship duration and cyberdating practices,
with a total explained variance of 21.7% (F(7, 400) =
15.810; p = .011.
To be specific, relationship length, online intimacy, and
online intrusiveness were observed to positively corre-
late with relationship satisfaction, whereas relationship
satisfaction negatively correlated with cyberdating
Table 3. Comparison of Online Couple Quality and Relationship
Satisfaction by Gender
Men Women
Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Online intimacy 2.49 (.90) 2.38 (1.04)
Cyberdating practices .96 (.72)** .71 (.65)
Online jealousy/control .80 (.58) .84 (.70)
Online intrusiveness .44 (.58) .43 (.59)
Emotional communication strategies 1.43 (.77) 1.50 (.86)
Relationship satisfaction 3.29 (.70) 3.34 (.71)
Note: **p < .01; *p < .05.
Table 4. Correlations between Age, Relationship Length, Dimensions of Online Couple Quality, and Relationship Satisfaction in Young Men and Women
Online emotional
communication strategies
Age .30** (.32**) –.21** (–.19**) –.16* (–.21**) –.21** (–.12*) –.17** (–.12*) –.17** (–.31**) –.06 (.02)
Relationship length - –.03 (–.18**) –.20* (–.20**) .01 (–.11) –.03 (–.02) –.05 (–.20**) .17 (.23**)
Online intimacy - .07 (.20**) .09 (.19**) –.04 (.19**) .37** (.49**) .18** (.21**)
Cyberdating practices - .51** (.49**) .19** (.36**) .43** (.46**) –.46** (–.30**)
Online jealousy/control - .54 (.57**) .60** (.53**) –.20** (–.17**)
Online intrusiveness - .41** (.47**) –.06 (.07)
Emotional communication strategies - –.15* (–.11*)
Note: **p < .01; *p < .05. Correlations in men appear sans parentheses.
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6 V. Sánchez et al.
Table 5. Relationship Satisfaction Model Resulting from Hierarchical Multiple Linear Regression
Models B (SE) b CI t p
Model 1 (R2 = .048) Relationship length .15 (.03) .22 (.09, .22) 4.544 .001
Model 2 (R 2= .114) Relationship length .18 (.03) .25 (.11, .24) 5.384 .001
Online intimacy .18 (.03) .26 (.12, .25) 5.472 .001
Model 3 (R2 = .170) Relationship length .15 (.03) .21 (.08, .21) 4.539 .001
Online intimacy .20 (.03) .29 (.14, .27) 6.279 .001
Cyberdating practices –.17 (.03) –.25 (–.24, –.11) –5.250 .001
Model 4 (R2 = .180) Relationship length .14 (.03) .21 (.08, .21) 4.443 .001
Online intimacy .23 (.04) .33 (.16, .30) 6.648 .001
Cyberdating practices –.15 (.04) –.21 (–.21, –.08) –4.198 .001
Emotional communication strategies –.08 (.04) –.12 (–.16, –.01) –2.155 .032
Model 5 (R2= .189) Relationship length .14 (.03) .20 (.08, .20) 4.323 .001
Online intimacy .24 (.04) .34 (.17, .31) 6.876 .001
Cyberdating practices –.15 (.04) –.22 (–.22, –.08) –4.373 .001
Emotional communication strategies –.12 (.04) –.17 (–.20, –.04) –2.888 .004
Online intrusiveness .08 (.04) .11 (–.01, .15) 2.165 .031
Model 6 (R2 = .205) Relationship length .14 (.03) .21 (.08, .21) 4.525 .001
Online intimacy .23 (.04) .33 (.16, .30) 6.602 .001
Cyberdating practices –.16 (.03) –.23 (–.23, –.09) –4.593 .001
Emotional communication strategies –.25 (.06) –.35 (–.36, –.13) –4.065 .001
Online intrusiveness .08 (.04) .11 (.01, .15) 2.166 .031
Sex*Emotional communication strategies .20 (.07) .23 (.06, .33) 2.843 .005
Model 7 (R2 = .216) Relationship length .15 (.03) .22 (.09, .22) 4.815 .001
Online intimacy .23 (.04) .32 (.16, .29) 6.552 .001
Cyberdating practices –.14 (.04) –.20 (–.21, –.07) –4.104 .001
Emotional communication strategies –.24 (.06) –.34 (–.35, –.12) –3.936 .001
Online intrusiveness .07 (.04) .11 (.01, .14) 2.115 .035
Sex*Emotional communication strategies .18 (.07) .21 (.05, .32) 2.656 .008
Relationship length*Cyberdating P. .08 (.03) .11 (.01, .14) 2.403 .017
practices and emotional communication strategies.
Finally, to make the interaction terms easier to inter-
pret, we carried out a simple analysis of slopes, finding
that for the interaction between sex and communica-
tion strategies (Figure 1), the slope was significant in
men only (t = –3.795, p = .001; for the women it was
t = –.435, p = .664) such that the more communication
strategies male participants reported, the lower their
satisfaction with the relationship.
On another note, regarding the interaction between
cyberdating practices and relationship duration
(Figure 2), the slope was only significant in shorter-
term relationships (t = –2.214, p = .027; for longer
relationships it was t = –.717, p = .474). Accordingly,
greater use of cyberdating practices was associated
with lower relationship satisfaction in shorter rela-
tionships; that effect was not produced in longer
Figure 1. Interaction effect between sex and emotional online
communication on relationship satisfaction.
Figure 2. Interaction effect between relationship length and
cyberdating practices on relationship satisfaction.
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Relationship Quality in the Digital Age 7
In recent years, we have seen a rising number of
studies interested in how young people incorporate
new technologies into their romantic relationships
(Fox & Warber, 2013; Morey et al., 2013; Stewart et
al., 2014). However the influence of those behaviors
on couples’ lives is still up for debate, especially in
Spain, where studies on this have been few. Therefore,
this study aimed to explore relationship quality online
in young adults, and its association with overall rela-
tionship satisfaction. In line with earlier studies that
found differences on some measures of online couple
quality as a function of sex (Muise et al., 2014), age
(Tokunaga, 2011), or relationship length (Hurley &
Reese-Weber, 2012), this study also analyzed those
three variables as potential moderators in the rela-
tionship between online quality and relationship
Descriptive analyses showed that these young
people had moderate levels of online intimacy and
communication strategies, and low online jealousy,
intrusiveness, and control. These results confirm, first,
that a couple’s life also develops in the space of virtual
media (Fox & Warber, 2013), and second, that positive
relationship dynamics are more common than nega-
tive, which is consistent with research examining rela-
tionship quality in couples off-line (Sánchez et al., 2014).
Analysis of a potential gender effect on results revealed
differences only in cyberdating practices, with young
men more than women reporting that they flirt with
various people while in a relationship, and empha-
sizing physique as the most important feature of peo-
ple they meet on the Internet. These results are similar
to findings in adolescent populations (Sánchez et al.,
2015), which some authors have interpreted as a
greater tendency for adolescent boys and young men
to engage in sensation-seeking behaviors and risk-
taking (Hertlein & Stevenson, 2010); that would logi-
cally increase in an environment where anonymity and
privacy are attained more easily than off-line (Utz &
Beukeboom, 2011). Nonetheless, it might also reflect
differing male and female interpretations of what they
can and cannot do while in a relationship. Along those
lines, studies about beliefs and attitudes about love
have suggested that females still have more romantic,
conservative ideas about love, while males more openly
accept flirting and infidelity (Espinoza, Correa, & García,
2014). The lack of differences on other scales, namely
the negative ones, contradicts earlier findings that
females exhibit higher levels of jealousy (Elphinston &
Noller, 2011), which would lead them to deploy more
partner-monitoring and -control behaviors (Muise
et al., 2014). These differences could be explained by
methodological aspects such as different designs and
measurement instruments. For example, Muise et al.
(2014) used an experimental design to test whether
jealousy levels predicted monitoring and surveillance
behavior after seeing the partner’s Facebook posts.
In contrast, the present study was survey-based. In
relation to measurements, in our study, jealousy and
control dimensions were considered part of a single
dimension; earlier studies examined them sepa-
rately even though their authors concluded that the
two scales are strongly correlated (Elphinston &
Noller, 2011; Muise et al., 2014). Future research
could confirm whether the lack of differences
between males and females on this dimension is due
to methodology, or the presence of cultural differ-
ences, in love styles for instance (Rohman, Führer, &
Bierhoff, 2016).
Correlation analyses showed that age and relation-
ship length were negatively associated with online
couple quality scales, but that effect size was small.
These results are in line with past studies where less
partner monitoring was observed in older participants
(Tokunaga, 2011); and more stable couples presented
less flirting behavior and infidelity (Blow & Harnett,
2005), as well as less use of new ICTs (Pew Research
Centre, 2014). These results reinforce the hypothesis
that the online world becomes less important in more
stable couples during the transition to adulthood, a
tendency that was not found, however, in adolescent
populations (Sánchez et al., 2015). It is worth noting
that the correlations were small, suggesting that while
there was in fact a trend, these variables’ association
was not very strong. Future studies might extend par-
ticipants’ age range and test whether the online world’s
influence on the couple’s life continues to decrease
significantly in older participants.
Finally, multiple linear regression analysis showed
that online quality was related to overall relationship
satisfaction. In particular, satisfaction was explained
positively by online intimacy and intrusiveness, and
negatively by cyberdating and emotional communica-
tion strategies. These results confirm that the relation-
ship dynamics unfolding in online media impact a
young person’s satisfaction with his or her partner,
and highlight the connection between life on- and
off-line (Subrahmanyan & Šmahel, 2011). Accordingly,
positive relationship dynamics that take place in online
media, like spending time together on the Internet and
having greater online intimacy, are associated with
higher relationship satisfaction (Morey et al., 2013),
while higher levels of cyberdating and emotional com-
munication strategies were associated with lower rela-
tionship satisfaction. It is interesting to consider that
online jealousy did not enter into our regression
equation, in contrast to earlier studies on this subject
(Elphinston & Noller, 2011), and despite the association
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8 V. Sánchez et al.
between the two variables found in correlation analyses,
in females only. These results seem to indicate that
even though the two variables are related, their influ-
ence on relationship satisfaction is not as important as
other measures of online relationship quality. From
that point of view, we believe that jointly analyzing the
influence of different online quality scales on overall
relationship satisfaction, as we did in this study, repre-
sents an advance over prior studies because it allowed
for deeper analysis of how important each of the vari-
ables analyzed was.
Online intrusiveness was associated with higher
relationship satisfaction, contradicting the findings
of past studies relating it to negative relationship out-
comes such as dating aggression (Sánchez et al., 2014).
Some studies have tried to further explore the associa-
tion between intrusiveness and relationship satisfac-
tion by analyzing possible mediating variables, such as
attachment styles. Lavy, Mikulincer, and Shaver (2013)
found that intrusiveness was associated with higher
relationship satisfaction in people with more insecure
attachment styles, with intrusive behaviors lowering
uncertainty (Stewart et al., 2014), which in turn increased
perceived relationship satisfaction. Future research
could confirm this meditational role of attachment
style in the association, and the role of the other dyad
member’s reactions to such behaviors. We could
hypothesize that one partner’s type of response to
an insecure and intrusive boy/girlfriend would rein-
force his/her online behavior and thus increase his/
her relationship satisfaction.
The negative impact of cyberdating and emotional
communication strategies on relationship satisfac-
tion confirms others studies’ findings about flirting
and infidelity in virtual contexts (Cravens et al., 2013)
and about the role of online conflict in relationship
decline for both sexes (Clayton, 2014; Rahaman, 2015).
These results were also moderated by gender and
relationship length. Thus, while relationship length
was associated with higher relationship satisfaction,
it also moderated the association between cyberdat-
ing and satisfaction, such that cyberdating behaviors
were associated with low relationship satisfaction in
shorter relationships, but not in the context of longer
relationships. These results are consistent with what
Clayton, Nagurney, and Smith reported (2013); those
authors suggested that flirting behavior and com-
munication with ex-partners had a more negative
impact on relationships less than three years than in
more enduring couples. That would indicate that in
less established couples – with less maturity, trust,
and commitment – certain online behaviors (like the
ones this study analyzed) negatively affect the rela-
tionship. In more stable, solid couples, meanwhile,
those online behaviors are not important enough to
significantly influence the overall value young people
place on their dating relationships.
Gender ultimately moderated the negative relation
between emotional communication strategies and rela-
tionship satisfaction such that men who make greater
use of those strategies are less satisfied with their rela-
tionships. Given the nature of this scale, which taps
communication strategies geared toward manipu-
lating or controlling one’s partner, or displaying anger
when problems arise, these results suggest that when
young men deploy these strategies, they are ineffec-
tive, which would explain their low levels of relation-
ship satisfaction. Future studies could confirm this
hypothesis and, using information from both members
of the romantic dyad, determine how one partner
using these communication strategies affects the cou-
ple’s relationship dynamic, and therefore relationship
By way of summary, this study’s results provide
evidence that the online context matters to young adults
in dating relationships, a connection which is moder-
ated by sex and relationship length. We analyzed posi-
tive as well as negative relationship dynamics so we
could take a closer look at the online dynamics that
impact relationship satisfaction the most, in one of the
first studies conducted in this area, especially in Spain.
This study was not, however, without various limi-
tations that warrant consideration. The first is a matter
of methodological design. This study’s cross-sectional
design makes it less possible to establish causal rela-
tions between variables; so future studies should
utilize longitudinal designs to ascertain with greater
accuracy the direction of the relationship among the
study’s variables. Next, the present study’s accidental
sampling method and sample size both limit the gen-
eralizability of results. Therefore we should broaden
the study to include other Spanish universities using
stratified random sampling. On another note, the very
construct of online couple quality remains a challenge
for the scientific community. Measures validated in
different countries need to be developed in order to
determine whether the differences observed might be
due to cultural differences. Most studies have devel-
oped ad hoc measures of concrete negative behaviors
like jealousy or controlling partner behavior, setting
aside measures of positive online couple quality. Future
studies should take a closer look at the range of posi-
tive behaviors couples can implement online, and how
those impact relationship satisfaction. In closing, it is
important for future studies to include perspective
from both members of the couple, and different mod-
erating variables – like attachment style and beliefs
and attitudes about love – to better understand these
variables’ role in the association between life online
and off.
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... In addition, Orosz et al. (2015) found that declared relationship status leads to not just the experience of elevated love but more jealousy as well. Therefore, it is not surprising at all that a recent study found that the importance of online communication typically decreases in long-term relationships (Sanchez et al. 2017). ...
... Have you ever did something or attended to something just because you could share it on Instagram?). Previous studies suggest that romantic relationship status is often declared on social media on several ways (Emery et al. 2014;Orosz et al. 2015;Sanchez et al. 2017) therefore we formulated questions on this phenomenon (e. g. How did the latest change in your romantic relationship status affect your Instagram activity?; ...
... Finally, it is clear that Instagram is less relevant for those participants who are satisfied with their relationship. This is in parallel with the results of Sanchez et al. (2017) who found that the importance of online communication typically decreases in stabile relationships. ...
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Nowadays Social Media plays a key role in the formation, maintenance and breaking up of romantic relationships. Instagram, one of the most popular platforms among young adults, was examined by many researchers from the viewpoints of e.g. relationship goals, satisfaction and conflicts. These studies concentrate on the impact of online activities on relationships. With this current research our aim is to widen this perspective: we attempt to investigate how relational factors influence the use of the popular social network site. In Study 1 a qualitative approach was introduced (N = 18), in Study 2 participants (N = 238) reported in an online survey about their Instagram activity in various relationship statuses as well as relationship satisfaction and jealousy. We found that changes in the relationship status can be detected through the modification of Instagram usage. The characteristics of Instagram activity are significantly different at the beginning and at the end of a relationship. Furthermore, using cluster analysis we found that jealousy and relationship satisfaction are core predictors of post frequency, the amount of time spent with browsing and the importance of Instagram. In sum, the patterns of Instagram activity are strongly influenced by romantic relationship status.
... Šukulová (2017) refers to the prototype of an unwanted partner, for which adolescents most often elected a person inclined to experiment with alcohol. A research by Rubin (as cited by Giddens, 2012) found that adolescent, sexually active couples do not expect their relationship to last until their wedding, and Sanchez, Munoz-Fernandéz, and Ortega-Ruiz (2017) found an average number of sexually unmarried connections per month ranging from one into three sexual connections, suggesting that for most women these connections are rather experimental and relatively rare (Fielder, Carey, & Carey, 2012). As a risk factor of intimacy we consider the jealousy that Marshall et al. (as cited by Farrugia, 2013) characterize as provoked emotions caused by an event involving an intimate friend or other prominent person. ...
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... Furthermore, this article adds to the prior studies that have been performed on non-American samples (e.g. German; Degen and Kleeberg-Niepage, 2021;German and Danish;Degen and Kleeberg-Niepage, 2022;Spain and Spain-Italy;Sánchez et al., 2014Sánchez et al., , 2017 and enables the further validation of the results obtained in prior studies that utilized U.S. Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) samples to counteract this U.S.-centric sampling bias in psychological research recently recognized by researchers (e.g. Cheon et al., 2020). ...
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Bu çalışma, romantik ilişkisi olan üniversite öğrencilerinin bu ilişkilerini sosyal ağ siteleri aracılığıyla nasıl deneyimlediklerine ve kullanıcı davranışlarını nasıl algıladıklarına odaklanmıştır. Türkiye’de yürütülen çalışmalarda sosyal ağ sitesi kullanımının, romantik ilişkileri deneyimleme şeklini nasıl etkilediğine yönelik nitel çalışmaların bulunmaması bu araştırmanın çıkış noktasıdır. Çalışma, bir devlet üniversitesinin lisans bölümlerinde öğrenim gören ve romantik ilişkisi bulunan 20-28 yaş arasındaki 12 (6 kız, 6 erkek) katılımcıyla gerçekleştirilmiştir. Çalışma fenomenolojik desende yürütülmüştür. Araştırmada, yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme formuyla elde edilen veriler tematik analiz yöntemiyle analiz edilmiştir. Elde edilen bulgular, sosyal ağ sitelerinin kullanım şeklinin romantik kıskançlığı tetiklediğini göstermektedir. Sosyal ağ sitelerinin potansiyel eş hakkında bilgi toplamak için önemli bir kaynak olduğu, aynı zamanda diğer kullanıcılardan gelen çeşitli beğeni, mesaj, yorum ve isteklerin romantik ilişkiyi tehdit eden unsurlar olarak algılandığı belirlenmiştir. Katılımcıların romantik ilişkilerine yönelik tehdit olarak algıladıkları davranışları önlemek amacıyla; romantik ilişkilerinin görünürlüğünü ve bilinirliğini arttırmaya yönelik ortak hesap açtıkları ve ilişki durumunu belirten çeşitli paylaşımlarda bulundukları belirlenmiştir. Ayrıca romantik kıskançlığın bir sonucu olarak, katılımcıların romantik eşlerini izleme davranışını sergiledikleri belirlenmiştir.
Facebook has been identified as one of the most influential social network site (SNS) in the formation, maintenance and interruption of romantic relationships. Over the last decade, several studies have been carried out on Facebook and romantic relationships; however, there is still lack of evidence on how the reciprocal perceptions of partners’ behaviours on Facebook relate with couple relationship quality. This study aimed to fill this gap examing whether and to what extent participants’ surveillance and visibility behaviour related with the perception of their partner’s surveillance and visibility behaviour, and to what extent this perception related with both romantic jealousy and relationship quality. A sample of 635 heterosexual women having a romantic relationship participated in a study, which consisted of answering an online questionnaire with items on both the participants’ and their partner’s online behaviour. Path analyses were used for testing the hypotheses. Results showed that Facebook supported behaviours that can affect the quality of romantic relationship. Contrary to what expected, both online surveillance and couple visibility positively related with romantic jealousy, which in turn mediated the relation between surveillance and relationship quality, thereby worsening the participants’ perception of couple relationship quality.
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Cada vez hay más estudios que arrojan luz al entendimiento del papel del amor y sus principales componentes como el compromiso (González & García, 2009). Sin embargo, el aislamiento involuntario por COVID-19, incrementó el intercambio en línea con fines románticos a través de aplicaciones y redes sociales (Sierra, 2020). El presente estudio, buscó explorar cambios en las variables de compromiso, satisfacción, inversión y alternativas antes de la pandemia y la actualidad, así como su relación con el uso de redes sociales. Se trabajó con 391 participantes de nacionalidad mexicana, 56% de mujeres de 18 a 48 años, estudiantes de licenciatura o posgrado, con al menos un año de duración en una relación actual. Se compararon dos momentos: antes de la pandemia y en la actualidad, de compromiso, satisfacción, alternativas e inversión, con una prueba T para muestras relacionadas y un análisis de correlaciones bivariadas para conocer la fuerza de asociación entre las mismas, añadiendo la variable de redes sociales. Los resultados muestran un aumento en la percepción de alternativas a la pareja actual, y una disminución en el compromiso y la satisfacción, siendo la inversión la única variable que permaneció estable. Así mismo, el incremento en las alternativas presentó una correlación positiva ante el uso de redes sociales, e inversa con el compromiso, la satisfacción y la inversión. El presente estudio muestra la importancia de la desconexión física y la conexión virtual, y su efecto en las relaciones de pareja, como consecuencia de la modernidad en una economía frágil y cambiante.
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The aim of this research is to analyse the web and its offer also in feeling terms, and how it contributes to the teens’ wellbeing. Ninety-one undergraduate students participated to the study that has placed side by side some projective items and interviews and survey typically used in this field. The teenagers don’t seem to be trapped in the net, instead they use it as an opportunity in order to discover ways of communication, to experience relationship’s forms and to understand their own feelings. Specifically, the peer group, the home life and the childhood memories, marked by the use of technology, are characterized by positive feelings, instead the romantic relationship is affected by ambivalent feelings. Adolescents combine family life and digital practices, wishing the participation of all significant relationships, starting with those experienced at home. Boys are not immune from temptation of online addiction, but especially girls suffer negative effects; although they show more diffidence, they entrust to the web their intense anxiety of control. Key words: Adolescents; Social Media; Digital-mediated Relationship; Emotional wellbeing; Use and/or abuse of social network sites. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Il lavoro si propone di analizzare, anche in termini affettivi, in che modo il web e la sua offerta contribuiscono alla crescita degli adolescenti. 91 ragazzi della scuola superiore hanno partecipato alla ricerca che ha affiancato a intervista e questionario, tipicamente utilizzati in questo campo, alcuni stimoli di carattere proiettivo. I giovani non sembrano affatto intrappolati nella rete, piuttosto la sfruttano come opportunità per scoprire i modi della comunicazione, sperimentare le forme della relazione e conoscere la propria vita affettiva. In particolare, il gruppo dei pari, la realtà familiare e i ricordi infantili, vissuti in termini social, sono connotati da affetti positivi, mentre la vita di coppia in versione social viene investita da sentimenti ambivalenti. Gli adolescenti compongono vita familiare e pratiche digitali, auspicando una compartecipazione di tutte le relazioni significative, a cominciare da quelle vissute in casa. Essi non sono del tutto immuni dalla tentazione della dipendenza social, ma sembra che siano soprattutto le ragazze a subire le tentazioni dell’online: pur mostrandosi più timide tendono ad affidare alla rete forti ansie di controllo. Parole chiave: Adolescenti; Social Media; Relazioni digitali; Benessere affettivo; Uso e/o abuso dei social network.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how Facebook use is leading to negative relationship outcomes such as cheating and breakup by assessing users’ perceived relationship qualities. It was hypothesized that Facebook-related conflict will be negatively related with users’ relationship length and will also be negatively related with their perceived relationship satisfaction, commitment, and love. Facebook-related conflict further mediates the relationship between relationship length and perceived relationship satisfaction, commitment, and love. Self-report data were gathered from participants (N = 101) in an online survey by employing standard questionnaires. A set of regression and mediation analyses confirmed all the hypotheses of the study. That is, Facebook-related conflict mediates the relationship between relationship length and perceived relationship satisfaction, commitment, and love. Moreover, the magnitude of mediation was highest for relationship satisfaction. Implications for future research and contributions are discussed.
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The current study aims to analyze the impact of online and conventional couple quality on the explanation of dating aggression in Spain and Italy. 312 Italian and 430 Spanish university students participated in the study. Logistic regression analysis showed that conflicts increased the likelihood to be involved in psychological and physical aggression in both countries. Transgressive behavior increased the odds of being involved in physical and psychological aggression in Spain and in psychological aggression in Italy. Online intrusiveness influenced Spanish participants' involvement in physical and psychological dating aggression while online jealousy was the main predictor of both types of aggression in Italy. Results are discussed in terms of the insecurity that seems to characterize dating aggression in young adulthood.
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Although theories of romantic stage development suggest that youth in the period of emerging adulthood are fully capable of commitment to an intimate romantic relationship, recent research suggests that the relationships of many young people are quite different. Marriage and other forms of deep commitment are delayed while many youth engage in short-term casual encounters or in noncommitted relationships. In this article, we suggest that these data pose a challenge to stage theories that can be reconciled by considering the developmental life tasks that emerging adults must simultaneously resolve. We propose a transitional emerging adult romantic stage, coordinating romance and life plans, in which young people strive to integrate their career paths and life plans with those of a romantic partner. Resolution of this stage provides the grounding for long-term commitment to a life partner. This proposal is discussed within the perspective of life cycle and evolutionary life history theories. © 2013 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publications.
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The purpose of the present study was to examine how relationship duration was related to conflict strategies and levels of intimacy in romantic relationships and how that might vary by gender. Participants completed self-report measures to assess perceived levels of reciprocal intimacy and reported uses of positive and negative conflict strategies. Results found an inverted U-shaped pattern for negative conflict strategies and a linear increase in levels of intimacy with duration. No differences were found for positive conflict strategies with duration. Gender differences were found for levels of intimacy, with women reporting higher levels of relationship intimacy as compared to men regardless of relationship duration; but, no gender differences were found for either positive or negative conflict strategies. Future research in this area should replicate these findings to further support the importance of romantic relationship development in examining relationship qualities such as conflict strategies and intimacy.
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Existing research suggests that social networking sites (SNSs) allow romantic partners to maintain their relationships online. This study examined how relational maintenance behaviors associated with Facebook (FB) use were predicted by satisfaction, uncertainty, and FB jealousy. A survey was conducted sampling 281 undergraduates in a romantic relationship where both partners were active users of FB. The results revealed that when partners (a) perceived mutual and definitional uncertainty in their relationship they used more FB monitoring to maintain their relationship; (b) when partners reported future and definitional certainty they used more FB assurances and openness; (c) when partners experienced FB jealousy they used more FB positivity, openness, assurances, and monitoring; and (d) when partners were satisfied they used more FB positivity and assurances.
Several hypotheses were derived from the self-expansion model (Aron & Aron, 1986) concerning romantic relationships and social networking sites (SNSs). A sample of 276 participants responded to questions about their relationshi p history and SNS uses and a subset of those (N = 149) responded to additional questions about a current romantic partner. Results suggest that past self-expansion leaves a residue shown by more interests. This finding was moderated by overall Facebook use. Particular Facebook behaviors such as tagging one's partner in status updates, appearing together in photographs, and listing similar interests on profiles are indicative of self-expansion processes typically found in romantic relationships.
This study examines the connection of love styles with relationship satisfaction on the basis of cross-cultural research, including Bosnia, Germany, Romania, Russia, and German immigrants from Russia and Turkey. Love styles include romantic love, friendship love, game-playing love, possessive love, altruistic love, and pragmatic love. The validation of the measurement model across cultural groups was successful because partial measurement invariance was secured, which allows for the application of correlation, regression, and path analysis. Results indicate that the effects of love styles on relationship satisfaction were consistent across cultures with the exception of game-playing love that negatively predicted relationship satisfaction for Germans, Romanians, and Turkish migrants but not for Bosnians, Russians, and Russian migrants. In addition, cultural variation occurred with respect to the strength of the associations. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to universality and cultural relativity. In general, the effect of love styles on well-being turned out to be manifold.
Cyberbullying is a phenomenon that has been extensively analysed amongst adolescents. However, in Spain, there have been few studies of young adults and particularly of their romantic relationships in the digital context. This study analyses cyberbullying in romantic relationships in mobile and digital exchanges between partners, in a sample comprising 336 students using quantitative methodology. The results show that 57,2% of the sample admit to having been victimised by their partner by mobile phone and 27,4% via the Internet. The percentage of victimised males was higher than that of females. 47,6% affirmed that they had bullied their partner by mobile phone and 14% over the Internet. The percentage of males who did so was higher than that of females. The regression analyses showed correlation between having been victimised by a partner via one of these media and having experienced cyberbulling in other by means of the same technological medium. The effects of this interaction highlight that males victimised through the use of mobile phones or the Internet are involved, to a greater extent than victimised females, as the perpetrators in this phenomenon. The results suggest modernisation in the types of violence that young adults experience in their relationships.
This 14-day dyadic diary study of 60 heterosexual couples examines links between attachment insecurities, intrusiveness, and relationship dissatisfaction by exploring the effects of attachment insecurities on intrusiveness and examining the daily interplay between intrusiveness and relationship dissatisfaction. We assessed attachment orientations, daily self-reported intrusive behavior, and daily relationship satisfaction of members of each couple. Results indicated that self-reported intrusiveness was associated with actor's attachment anxiety and with their partner's attachment avoidance. Unexpectedly, partner's previous-day intrusiveness was positively associated with actor's next-day relationship satisfaction. This association was driven mainly by women scoring high on avoidance. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.