Do you have anything to hide? Infidelity-related behaviors on social media sites and marital satisfaction

Brandon T. McDaniel, Michelle Drouin, Jaclyn D. Cravens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. This study examined whether married/cohabiting individuals are using social media sites to engage in online infidelity-related behaviors and to what extent this related to relationship satisfaction, ambivalence, and relational attachment characteristics as reported by 338 married/cohabiting individuals from 176 families. Only a small percentage of married/cohabiting couples reported engaging in social media infidelity-related behaviors; however, more engagement in infidelity-related behaviors on social media was significantly related to lower relationship satisfaction, higher relationship ambivalence, and greater attachment avoidance and anxiety in both women and men. Additionally, attachment anxiety and gender interacted with relationship satisfaction in predicting online infidelity-related behaviors when controlling for other variables. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume66
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Infidelity behaviors
  • Relationship ambivalence
  • Relationship satisfaction
  • Social media use
  • Social networking

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