Channels of Computer-Mediated Communication and Satisfaction in Long-Distance Relationships

Adam J. Hampton, Jessica Rawlings, Stanislav Treger, Susan Sprecher


In the last decade, there has been a surge in the number of ways in which romantic partners can remain in contact with each other. The use of communication technologies may have important implications for the maintenance of relationship satisfaction. Unfortunately, most research in this domain has been conducted with samples that are composed predominantly by individuals in geographically-close relationships. This study examined the use of communication technologies in long-distance relationships, including how various mediums of communication are associated with relationship satisfaction and communication satisfaction. Using a diverse online sample of individuals in long-distance relationships, we found that the frequency of utilizing various channels of communication was associated with relationship satisfaction and communication satisfaction. The most frequently used channel of communication was text messaging. However, Skype use was the strongest predictor of both relationship satisfaction and communication satisfaction. Further, communication satisfaction mediated the relation between Skype use and relationship satisfaction. We integrate our findings into theoretical perspectives on computer-mediated communication.


communication technologies; computer-mediated communication; long-distance relationships; relationship satisfaction; communication satisfaction

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