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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Social media provides one route to behaviors that may be potentially harmful to romantic relationships, such as communicating with alternative partners, which can sometimes create relationship conflict, breakups, or divorce. Limited empirical evidence exists concerning social media infidelity-related behaviors and marital relationships.
Additionally, Hillsdale PA cheating wives anxiety and gender interacted Hillsdale PA cheating wives relationship satisfaction in predicting online infidelity-related behaviors when controlling for other variables. Implications are discussed. Alongside this rapid growth, relationship researchers began investigating how social media is used within relationships, especially romantic relationships.
Although the empirical literature related to social media and relationships has expanded greatly over the past few years, much of this research has been conducted with young adults; research on problematic social networking behaviors within married couples is sparse.
Although media sources report that Facebook has been cited in one third of U. The few empirical studies that have examined IR behaviors have focused on s of those who found their partners cheating Cravens et al. Together, these studies suggest that online environments may provide a ripe venue for online IR behaviors.
More specifically, our goals were to conceptualize and measure social media IR behaviors among primarily married couples, examine these behaviors as an outcome of relationship satisfaction and ambivalence, and examine whether attachment anxiety moderates the relationship between relationship satisfaction and ambivalence and engagement in social media IR behaviors. A growing body of research has examined the potential negative effects of social media usage on romantic relationships.
In a seminal study on the topic, Clayton et al. In other words, Facebook usage predicted negative relationship outcomes especially when there was conflict surrounding this usage, but only among those who had been in their relationships for three years or less.
Clayton found similar with regard to Twitter use: Higher usage was related to negative relationship outcomes, and this association was mediated by Twitter-use conflict. However, Hillsdale PA cheating wives this case, relationship length did not moderate the indirect effect of social media usage on negative relationship outcomes. Regardless of relationship length, those who used Twitter more often were more likely to have Twitter-related conflict, and this predicted negative relationship outcomes. More recently, Ridgway and Clayton extended this inquiry to yet another social networking venue and found that posting selfies on Instagram was related to Instagram-related conflict, which in turn was related to negative relationship outcomes.
This link between social networking usage and negative relationship outcomes was also supported by a recent, national survey Valenzuela et al. Valenzuela et al.
Moreover, social networking use predicted lower marital quality, marital dissatisfaction, and marital trouble Valenzuela et al. More specific to social networking, Cravens et al. Additionally, other recent studies examined two potential sources of conflict i. Drouin et al.
In a follow-up experiment, Drouin et al. Combined, these studies present empirical evidence that there are multiple avenues through which individuals can communicate with others online in ways that are perceived to be infidelity-related or problematic to relationships. More specifically, the elements of social network communication that are most consistently labeled as problematic include befriending past partners or alternative partnersflirtation, secrecy, and engaging in deep or sexual conversations with others online.
However, although these online behaviors have been identified as potential threats Hillsdale PA cheating wives fidelity and researchers have begun to link these behaviors to aspects of relationship investment, no known research has examined whether engagement in online IR behaviors is related to marital dissatisfaction or ambivalence. For decades, researchers have been exploring the role of relationship satisfaction in infidelity. Within cross-sectional studies, the have been rather consistent: Relationship dissatisfaction is related to a range of IR behaviors, including both emotional and sexual extradyadic interactions e.
In sum, when individuals feel ambivalent about their committed partner for any reason, they may be more likely to engage in infidelity behaviors. Extending these findings to an online environment, we expected that both of these relationship characteristics—dissatisfaction and ambivalence—may be related to engagement in online IR behaviors.
More specifically, we expected:. H1: Those with lower levels of relationship satisfaction and higher levels of ambivalence would engage in more social media IR behaviors. Additionally, we wanted to explore attachment orientation as a predictor of engagement in social media IR behaviors. According to these researchers, those who display secure attachment patterns are comfortable depending on others and having others depend on them, and they typically build close, intimate relationships with romantic partners. Meanwhile, those who display insecure attachment patterns exhibit high levels of attachment avoidance or attachment anxiety Brennan et al.
Those with high levels of attachment avoidance often display an air of detachment and need for independence within their romantic relationships. Additionally, those high in attachment avoidance express less commitment to their romantic partners DeWall et al. Meanwhile, those with high levels of attachment anxiety have an intense need for closeness and fear of losing their romantic partner. These hyperactivating strategies may include engaging in IR behaviors to incite jealousy in their romantic partners e. Alternatively, those with high levels of attachment anxiety might seek intimacy outside of their relationship when they feel that their high needs for intimacy are not being met by a current partner Drigotas et al.
Thus, both attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety have been linked with IR behaviors in empirical studies, however, much of this research e. In a more recent study of married individuals, Russel, Baker, and McNulty found that attachment anxiety, but not attachment avoidance, predicted infidelity among married couples.
In accordance with the findings from Russell et al. H2: Attachment anxiety would predict social media IR behaviors in this married sample. Finally, we also examined attachment characteristics and gender as moderators in the relationships between relationship satisfaction, ambivalence, and engagement in social media IR behaviors. Several researchers have noted that there are sex Hillsdale PA cheating wives in the ways in which attachment characteristics interact with Hillsdale PA cheating wives behaviors.
As an example, Allen and Baucom found that among women, an anxious attachment style was predictive of engaging in infidelity behaviors, but among men, an avoidant attachment style was predictive of engaging in infidelity. Moreover, Drigota et Hillsdale PA cheating wives. Thus, both attachment characteristics and sex were explored as potential moderators in the relationship between satisfaction, ambivalence and engaging in social media IR behaviors.
The data in this study were collected as part of a larger project on parenting and daily family life Daily Family Life Project ; McDaniel, We Hillsdale PA cheating wives both parents mother and father from families who had at least one young child via a database of families in a Northeastern U. This multi-pronged recruitment strategy was utilized to obtain a sample of families throughout the U. After completing informed consent, participation then consisted of an initial online survey and subsequent follow-up online surveys at 1, 3, and 6 months.
In the present study, our analytic sample consisted of individuals wives and husbands from families due to missing data on 10 wives and 18 husbands. Couples were currently living together in the United States and had age 5 or younger. Due to a slight modification of the focus of the study after its inception, measures pertaining to online IR behaviors were added part way through the study.
We therefore utilized data for each family from the first time they received the items. Our analytic sample resided in these U. The mean age of wives was The participants had been in relationships with their current partners for IR behaviors on social networking sites were measured with a series of questions we created specifically for this study based on a review of the relevant literature e.
Similar behaviors have also been measured in other studies of online and offline infidelity e. We provide other relevant statistics for this measure in the section. Items were answered on a 6-point scale: 1 Strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 somewhat disagree, 4 somewhat agree, 5 agree, and 6 strongly agree. Mean differences between women and men were tested using pairwise t-tests.
No ificant mean differences were found. Higher scores indicate greater relationship satisfaction. The QMI has been successfully used in prior relationship research with mixed marital status samples e. To measure Hillsdale PA cheating wives ambivalence, 3 items e. Six statements measured attachment anxiety e. As explained in the measures section, we created 7 items see Table 1 from a review of the relevant literature on Hillsdale PA cheating wives in relationship. We then explored whether these items loaded together by performing a principal components analysis.
Individual factor loadings for the entire sample and factor loadings and descriptives for women and men are listed in Table 1. All loadings were above. Greater IR behavior on social networking was ificantly related to lower relationship satisfaction and greater ambivalence as well as greater attachment avoidance and anxiety in both women and men see Table 2. We ran two models predicting online IR behavior: Model 1 with relationship satisfaction as the predictor, and Model 2 with relationship ambivalence as the predictor see unstandardized estimates in Table 3.
Both attachment anxiety and avoidance were included as predictors and moderators. Controls e. Multilevel models of social media infidelity-related behaviors predicted by relationship satisfaction, ambivalence, and attachment avoidance and anxiety. Except for the above mentioned controls, all other variables were grand mean centered.
Moreover, attachment avoidance did not predict IR behavior. We plotted this interaction in Figure 1.
In contrast, relationship satisfaction was not associated with IR behavior in women whose anxiety levels were very low i. Additionally, within these women and in contrast to men the strength of the association between relationship satisfaction and IR behavior becomes stronger as anxiety levels increase.
Predicted values of social media infidelity-related behavior at high and low 1 SD above and 1 SD below mean values of relationship satisfaction, moderated by attachment anxiety and gender. High anxiety is 1 SD above mean black line and low anxiety is 1 SD below mean gray dashed line. Social networking behaviors have been a subject of recent inquiry as a potential source of relationship dissatisfaction, conflict, and dissolution Clayton, ; Clayton et al. However, the existing research has focused mainly on general social networking use, Hillsdale PA cheating wives few studies have examined the specific social networking behaviors that may be problematic in romantic relationships.
In our sample, only a small percentage of partners reported engaging in social media IR behaviors. As research has shown that social media use is associated with relational conflict and dissolution Clayton, ; Clayton et al. However, there are a few potential explanations for these findings.
Hillsdale PA cheating wives contrast, this study specifically examined primarily married couples who had volunteered to participate in a longitudinal study of family life. Consequently, negative relationship dynamics e. Finally, our suggest that there are components of social media usage that are not infidelity related that might be contributing to relational conflict among married couples. In this study, we examined relationship Hillsdale PA cheating wives and ambivalence as predictors of IR behaviors, on the assumption that engagement in IR behaviors may be the problematic aspect of social media usage, that relationship satisfaction and ambivalence are more stable traits, and that social media IR behaviors may be more transient behaviors.
With consideration for Valenzuela et al. In the future, we intend to fill gaps in the literature with analyses of relationship directionality. Finally, although both attachment anxiety and avoidance were positively related to social media IR behaviors, only attachment anxiety emerged as a unique, ificant predictor once other variables e.
These findings align with Russell et al. This study offers an extension to prior work, showing that similar relationship characteristics might influence both offline and online IR behaviors. However, the from our study do not elucidate whether those who are anxiously attached are engaging in IR behaviors as hyperactivating strategies to incite jealousy in their partners Guerrero, et al.
Thus, future research should more directly address the motivations behind engagement in these IR behaviors, especially among those with insecure attachment patterns. Additionally, attachment anxiety and gender were moderators in the relationship between relationship satisfaction and social media IR behaviors. For men with lower attachment anxiety i. On the contrary, most of the women in our sample and especially those with higher attachment anxiety demonstrated this pattern.
Perhaps, for men, there is more linear alignment between secure attachment, marital satisfaction, and fidelity, but for women, the relationship is more complex. Again, this is Hillsdale PA cheating wives direction for future inquiry. As mentioned, the participants from this study were volunteers from a longitudinal study of family life who were fairly well-educated and in stable relationships, and these individuals may be less Hillsdale PA cheating wives to have engaged in or reported online IR behaviors.
However, there was enough variance in online IR behaviors that we were able to examine relations between relationship quality and IR behaviors. In general, our effect sizes were small to medium as indicated by the f 2 statistics; Cohen,which suggests that there are other factors that also predict online IR behavior that should be explored. Additionally, our measure of social media IR behaviors was limited to seven items.Hillsdale PA cheating wives
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Do You Have Anything to Hide? Infidelity-Related Behaviors on Social Media Sites and Marital Satisfaction