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Relational Satisfaction as a Result from the Type of Communication Medium Used: Face-to-Face Communication Versus Computer Mediated in Romantic Relationships

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The use of the Internet, mobile phones, and other technology is becoming a prominent way to communicate interpersonally, especially between relational partners. Romantic relationships are one type of interpersonal relationship that utilizes computer-mediated communication (CMC). Most individuals are faced with busy schedules, long work hours, and balancing their careers and their family life at home. Large numbers of working women with children (Hayghe, 1997), dual-earner couples (Winkler, 1998) have increased rapidly in the last several decades. In addition, the proportion of individuals working very long work weeks has increased, particularly for those who hold managerial, professional, sales, or transportation occupations (Rones & Gardner, 1997).In a study conducted by Kingston and Nock, 1987, it was determined that couples time together was negatively impacted by the number of hours the couple worked. Knowing the most effective way to communicate in romantic relationships can help to diminish the amount of confrontation in a relationship and increase rates of satisfaction among couples. In 2010, there were an estimated 1.96 billion Internet users worldwide making up almost 29% of all humans, which indicated a growth of 444% in the last decade (Internet Usage Statistics, 2010). One report, based on nationwide survey results released by the Pew Internet and American Life project, estimated that the Internet is being used by 73% of American adults and that 78% of American adults own cell phones (Jones & Fox, 2009). Such an increase in this wireless communications technology has brought about many changes in the nature of social interactions, both positive and negative (Geser 2003; Palen 2002). texting and internet communication becoming more prominent forms of communication, there is opportunity for improvement in relationships who spend long hours at work but wish to communicate more frequently with their partners. In this study, we will examine the relationship between the amount of face to face time spent in romantic relationships and the degree of satisfaction among couples. We will be looking for the implications of face to face communication versus computer mediation. Overall, the quality of communication may be lower within couples who are primarily internet communication users over face-to-face communication users due to the lack of intimacy exchanged with kinesics and proxemics an other non-verbal means of communication that can only be acheived when using face-to-face communication. If this is true, then the reduction in the quality of communication may also have an effect on relationship satisfaction, on average, in relationships where much of the communication that occurs takes place via the internet using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and also by phone via texting and talking. These differences that exist between face-to-face and computer mediated communication would benefit of attention, and lie at the basis of this research.
RQ1: Which Communication quality and quantity indicators predict intimacy?
RQ2: Which Communication quality and quantity indicators predict satisfaction?
Hypothesis
In order to better understand the link between satisfaction among couples and the types of communication that are most prominently used in relationships, we research several studies to help test our hypotheses which we believe will lead to valuable information that will help us understand the subject matter.
H1: Relational partners that communicated primarily through computer mediated communication such as texting, Facebook, Twitter and email would have an overall lower degree of satisfaction with their partner and overall relationship in terms of intimacy.
H2: Relational partners that communicated primarily through computer mediated communication such as texting, Facebook, Twitter and email would have an overall higher degree of satisfaction with their partner and overall relationship in terms of intimacy. We wanted to test whether constant computer mediated communication enhanced satisfaction by enhancing frequency of contact among couples, or if constant computer mediated communication weakened satisfaction between partners due to less frequent face-to-face encounters.
H3: The number of confrontations between relational partners who primarily use computer mediated communication would be higher versus couples who primarily communicate face to face.
H4: Deception is be more prominent in computer mediated communication based relationships. If the hypotheses are supported, I would suggest that future researchers further explore this subject matter to more closely identify other processes that are affected by computer mediated communication versus face-to-face interaction.

Methods
The data the we would collect would consist of currently enrolled college students, undergrad and graduate, at Chapman University. We would also eventually like to further explore different age groups and the effect that technology has on their romantic relationships. We would focus on individuals who use both face-to-face communication in their relationships and computer mediated communication. We would sample. Being the owner of a computer or smart phone is also important, as it was necessary for comparing cell phone communication to face-to-face communication.
Sample
The sample of studies that we chose to evaluate in order to prove or disprove our hypotheses were research papers and studies that explored intimacy in relationships, studies involving online dating, and a study that evaluated cell phone use among couples. We used the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University and EBSCO host online library. We evaluated numerous studies to attain a broad understanding of romantic relationships and technology, and then were able to narrow the research down to computer mediated technology among couples.
Data Collection

References
Rosanna E., G., Bradley M., O., & Sara A., K. (n.d). Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. Computers In Human Behavior, 28642-647. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.11.010

Perry, M. S., & Werner‐Wilson, R. J. (2011). Couples and computer‐mediated communication: A closer look at the affordances and use of the channel. Family And Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 40(2), 120-134. doi:10.1111/j. 1552-3934.2011.02099.x
Internet Usage Statistics. (2011). Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

The Effect of Communication Quality and Quantity Indicators on Intimacy and Relational Satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. June 2004 21: 399-411, doi:10.1177/0265407504042839

Prager, K. J. (2000). Intimacy in personal relationships. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp. 229–242). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.

Jones, S., & Fox, S. (2009). Generations online in 2009 website:http:// www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Generations-Online-in-.2009.aspx

Larry D. Rosen , Nancy A. Cheever , Cheyenne Cummings , Julie Felt The impact of emotionality and self-disclosure on online dating versus traditional dating Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 24, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 2124–2157

Kingston, P. W., & Nock, S. L. (1987). Time together among dual-earner couples. American Sociological Review, 52, 391–400.

Duck, S. W., Rutt, D. J. Hurst, M. H., & Strejc, H. (1991). Some evident truths about conversation in everyday relationships: All communications are not created equal. Human Communication Research, 18, 228–267.

Rones, P. L., Ilg, R. E., & Gardner, J. M. (1997, April). Trends in the hours of work since the mid-1970s. Monthly Labor Review, pp. 3–14.
Winkler, A. E. (1998, April). Earnings of husbands and wives in dual-earner families. Monthly Labor Review, p. 42. Emmers-Sommer: Quality and quantity of communication
Hayghe, H. V. (1997, September). Developments in women’s labor force participation Monthly Labor Review, p. 42.
Cell Phone Communication Versus Face-to-Face Communication: The Effect of Mode of Communication on Relationship Satisfaction and the Difference in Quality of Communication. (2008).

Palen, Leysia. 2002. “Mobile Telephony in a Connected Life.” Communications of the ACM 45(3):78-82.

Geser, Hans. 2003. Towards a Sociological Theory of the mobile phone. Accessed October 8, 2007. http://socio.ch/mobile/t_geser1.htm

References: Rosanna E., G., Bradley M., O., & Sara A., K. (n.d). Dating deception: Gender, online dating, and exaggerated self-presentation. Computers In Human Behavior, 28642-647. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.11.010 Perry, M Internet Usage Statistics. (2011). Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm The Effect of Communication Quality and Quantity Indicators on Intimacy and Relational Satisfaction Prager, K. J. (2000). Intimacy in personal relationships. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp. 229–242). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage. Jones, S., & Fox, S. (2009). Generations online in 2009 website:http:// www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Generations-Online-in-.2009.aspx Larry D Kingston, P. W., & Nock, S. L. (1987). Time together among dual-earner couples. American Sociological Review, 52, 391–400. Duck, S. W., Rutt, D. J. Hurst, M. H., & Strejc, H. (1991). Some evident truths about conversation in everyday relationships: All communications are not created equal. Human Communication Research, 18, 228–267. Rones, P. L., Ilg, R. E., & Gardner, J. M. (1997, April). Trends in the hours of work since the mid-1970s. Monthly Labor Review, pp. 3–14. Winkler, A. E. (1998, April). Earnings of husbands and wives in dual-earner families. Monthly Labor Review, p. 42. Emmers-Sommer: Quality and quantity of communication Hayghe, H Cell Phone Communication Versus Face-to-Face Communication: The Effect of Mode of Communication on Relationship Satisfaction and the Difference in Quality of Communication. (2008). Palen, Leysia. 2002. “Mobile Telephony in a Connected Life.” Communications of the ACM 45(3):78-82. Geser, Hans. 2003. Towards a Sociological Theory of the mobile phone. Accessed October 8, 2007

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