“Technoference” and implications for mothers' and fathers' couple and coparenting relationship quality

Brandon T. McDaniel, Adam M. Galovan, Jaclyn D. Cravens, Michelle Drouin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Technology devices are widely used today, creating opportunities to connect and communicate with distant others while also potentially disrupting communication and interactions between those who are physically present (i.e., technoference or phubbing). These disruptions in couple and coparenting relationships have the potential to negatively impact relationship outcomes. In this two-part study of 182 married/cohabiting couples from the Daily Family Life Project and 239 couples from the Couple Well-Being Project, we examined the role of technoference in couple and coparenting relationship quality and potential gender differences utilizing dyadic data. We found that greater technoference related to greater conflict over technology use, and greater conflict predicted lower relationship satisfaction and poorer perceptions of coparenting quality (Study 1). Using a more diverse sample (Study 2), we again found support for the main pathways tested in our first study, suggesting that results found in Study 1 and in previous work are not artifacts of sampling. As satisfaction, support, and agreement among relationship partners and parents are often critical to relationship health and family cohesion, it is important for couples and families to evaluate, monitor, and be willing to adapt their technology usage patterns so that these patterns do not cause conflict and possibly relationship deterioration over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Coparenting
  • Couple relationships
  • Media use
  • Phone addiction
  • Relationship quality
  • Smartphones

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