Mobile Communication in Romantic Relationships: The Relationship Between Mobile Phone Use and Relational Uncertainty, Intimacy, and Attachment
Mobile Romantic Communication Abstract
This study examines the association between mobile phone use and relational uncertainty, intimacy, and attachment. A survey of 197 university students currently in romantic relationships revealed that relational uncertainty was negatively associated with the amount of mobile phone use. Relational intimacy, however, was positively associated with mobile phone use. In regards to attachment styles, participants with higher levels of avoidance placed fewer calls than those with lower levels of avoidance. Anxiety levels were not significantly associated with mobile phone use. These findings indicate that a higher amount of mobile communication between partners is closely related to positive outcomes in their relationship. Specifically, mobile communication between romantic partners can reduce relational uncertainty and increase intimacy, as well as be influenced by the communicators‘ attachment styles.
Mobile Romantic Communication Mobile Communication in Romantic Relationships: The Relationship Between Mobile Phone Use and Relational Uncertainty, Intimacy, and Attachment
Mobile phones have become one of the most pervasive interpersonal media. Accordingly, the study of mobile communication has been burgeoning in recent years (e.g., Craig, 2007; Katz, 2003; Katz & Aakhus, 2002; Ling & Pedersen, 2005). For instance, Jin (2007) uncovered that mobile communication shares some similarities with face-to-face communication. In particular, higher amounts of both mobile and face-to-face communication were negatively associated with loneliness (Jin, 2007). Also, individuals in romantic relationships used mobile phones significantly more often than those not romantically involved (Jin, 2007). Similarly, previous findings suggest that mobile communication tends to occur within close relationships, such as family, romantic couples, and friends (Campbell & Russo, 2003; Ishii, 2006). It appears that by using mobile phones people can strengthen their family bonds, facilitate friendships, and build mutual support (Campbell & Kelley, 2006; Campbell & Russo, 2003; Ishii, 2006; Wei & Lo, 2006). Katz and Aakhus (2002) argue that, across cultures, people use communication tools in ways that maximize their needs and comforts, often resulting in the invention of new ways people interact. In line with this, Licoppe (2004) argued that the advent of mobile technology enabled us to develop a particular communication pattern in close relationships, which is referred to as the connected mode of communication. This mode is represented by short and frequent communicative gestures, as illustrated by young people‘s use of mobile phones (Licoppe, 2004). In support of mobile communication as a medium to maintain connectivity, Ling and Yttri (2002) found that young people used their mobile phones to keep checking what their friends are doing
Mobile Romantic Communication
to coordinate each other‘s activities. As such, a ―connected‖ mode of maintaining relationships is becoming a prominent daily practice of modern couples (Licoppe, 2004). These studies, however, have not yet fully examined how mobile communication between romantic partners is associated with relational processes and outcomes. For example, does mobile phone use in romantic couples alleviate or augment feelings of uncertainty about how the relationship will develop in the future? To address the question, the present study investigated how relational uncertainty and intimacy are influenced by mobile phone use in romantic relationships. Also, given that a variety of personal affective processes have been linked to media use, individual characteristics were expected to influence mobile communication between partners. For example, Ellison, Steinfield,...