Smartphones and loneliness in love: Testing links between smartphone engagement, loneliness, and relational health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research on smartphones and romantic relationships has found that these devices can frustrate romantic partners and are associated with lower relationship satisfaction and relational certainty. Yet, it is not entirely clear just why this link exists, as some studies have suggested that smartphones can act as a serious distraction for romantic partners, whereas other studies have found that it is dependency on these devices that is most strongly linked to relationship issues. The current study seeks to replicate earlier findings showing that smartphone dependency is the key variable implicated in relational health. Moreover, this study tests whether there are important individual-level variables (loneliness and selfesteem) that can possibly explain the relationship between smartphone dependency and relational issues. Working with a population of undergraduate college students currently in romantic relationships, the study finds that smartphone dependency, and not self-reported use, predicts lower relationship satisfaction and less relationship certainty. In addition, the study finds that loneliness partially mediates the relationship between dependency and both relationship satisfaction and certainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Popular Media Culture
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Loneliness
  • Personal relationships
  • Smartphone dependency
  • Smartphone use
  • Smartphones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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