Text Messages and Romantic Relationships: An Investigation of Mobile Communication Technologies, Attachment Processes, and Relationship Quality.

  • Jodie Bradnam

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Across four studies and a combined sample of 1648 participants, a new technology measure was refined and tested. The Technology Questionnaire (TQ) assessed the extent to which participants turned towards or turned away from relationship partners via text. The TQ also examined texting parameters such as text frequency, response expectations, text targets, and text motives. Associations between texting, relationship satisfaction, intimacy, social and emotional loneliness, destructive conflict, partner care, and partner control were examined. Texting behaviour was considered in the context of romantic attachment, relationship status, and commitment. Principles of sound relationship house theory were used with the TQ subscales (Turning Towards and Turning Away) to predict relationship quality and destructive conflict by attachment type. Expressions of positive and negative sentiments via text were related to attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, relationship quality, and destructive conflict. Results suggest that text communications mirror face-to-face patterns of interpersonal communication, reflecting attachment proclivities and relationship principles known to predict relationship satisfaction and distress.
Date of Award17 Feb 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMark Edwards (Supervisor) & Bruce Watt (Supervisor)

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