The purpose of this study was to investigate how romantic, heterosexual relationships of college students are being affected by the use of communication technologies such as texting, social media, and phone calls. A mixed method approach was used combining a survey and interviews. The survey sampled about 70 undergraduates in heterosexual, romantic relationships and asked questions about their technology-use and its impact on their relationships. Four couples were interviewed separately using the same questions. Specifically, this study asked if students feel that the success of their relationships is dependent on the use of communication technologies, if technology is related to conflict in their relationships, and if there are any significant differences each sex’s perceptions of the technologies. Both the survey and interviews indicated that the success of relationships is dependent on the use of technology and that there is a strong relationship between conflict in romantic relationships and the use of communication technologies. Also, males and females do not perceive the effects of technology on their relationships differently. Ideally, this study will aid in the advancement of future media effects research, assist social scientists and therapists in properly assessing romantic couples, and lead to the creation of new technology that can more effectively serve the needs of modern romantic couples.
Smith, Laura Marie.
Dependency, Conflict, and Gender: The Use of Communication Technologies in Romantic Relationships of College Students.
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