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Title: Include me in your Facebook : relationship awareness on Facebook influences romantic partners’ relationship satisfaction and perceived partner commitment
Authors: Yang, Shanshan
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Yang, S. (2017). Include me in your Facebook : relationship awareness on Facebook influences romantic partners’ relationship satisfaction and perceived partner commitment. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Relationship awareness—paying attention to one’s relationship—is critical for sustaining a romantic partnership (Acitelli, 1993, 2002). Previous research on relationship awareness has concentrated on its effects on relationships following face-to-face communication between romantic partners (e.g., Acitelli, 1988; Cate, Koval, Lloyd, & Wilson, 1995). Technological advancement has substantially diversified romantic partners’ means of communication. Digitized interactions including texting, emails, and social networking sites (SNSs) have substituted a considerable portion of face-to-face interactions. Particularly, SNSs have greatly affected the initiation, maintenance, and dissolution of romantic relationships (e.g., Fox & Warber, 2013; Marshall, Bejanyan, Di Castro, & Lee, 2013; Sosik & Bazarova, 2014). However, there is a gap in the existing literature on relationship awareness and the current diversification of romantic interactions among partners. Accordingly, this thesis examined relationship awareness on the most prevalent SNS—Facebook. This thesis investigated how one partner’s relationship awareness as expressed on Facebook influences the other partner’s relationship satisfaction. These behaviors were hypothesized to increase partners’ relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, the perceived partner commitment was hypothesized to mediate this effect. I conducted four studies to examine the association between relationship awareness and partner’s relationship satisfaction. First, in a field study (Study 1), I demonstrated that an individual’s use of linguistic markers of relationship awareness in Facebook status updates (i.e., first-person plural nouns and possessive words) were positively correlated with the partner’s relationship satisfaction (assessed as a tendency to use positive words in status updates as well as a measure of subjective well-being). Subsequently, I experimentally manipulated the introduction (Studies 2 and 3) and removal (Study 4) of Facebook cues of relationship awareness to further test their effects on partners’ relationship satisfaction and the effect of perceived partner commitment. The results showed that individuals’ posting of dyadic photos and a partnered relationship status on Facebook (i.e., cues of relationship thinking) caused their partner to experience higher perceived partner commitment. Furthermore, the introduction (removal) of these cues increased (decreased) the partner’s relationship satisfaction. In contrast, although tagging the partner in status updates (i.e., cues of relationship talking) increased the partner’s relationship satisfaction, it had no effect on perceived partner commitment. The present study deepens our understanding of relationship awareness on Facebook, and has implications for the research on the interpersonal perception of romantic partners. Furthermore, the results also illuminate the current rituals of romantic relationships on SNSs among young people, and prompt future studies investigating the detailed content of online self-disclosure, as well as each romantic partner’s relationship experience.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/73656
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Theses

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