Computers in Human Behavior
Volume 54, January 2016, Pages 134–141
My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone: Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners
James A. Roberts, , Meredith E. David
A valid scale of partner phubbing (Pphubbing) was developed.
Pphubbing was found to have a negative impact on relationship satisfaction.
Cell phone conflict mediated the impact of Pphubbing on relationship satisfaction.
Attachment style moderated the Pphubbing – cell phone conflict relationship.
Pphubbing was found to indirectly impact life satisfaction and depression.
Partner phubbing (Pphubbing) can be best understood as the extent to which an individual uses or is distracted by his/her cell phone while in the company of his/her relationship partner. The present study is the first to investigate the oft-occurring behavior of Pphubbing and its impact on relationship satisfaction and personal well-being. In Study 1, a nine-item scale was developed to measure Pphubbing. The scale was found to be highly reliable and valid. Study 2 assessed the study’s proposed relationships among a sample of 145 adults. Results suggest that Pphubbing’s impact on relationship satisfaction is mediated by conflict over cell phone use. One’s attachment style was found to moderate the Pphubbing – cell phone conflict relationship. Those with anxious attachment styles reported higher levels of cell phone conflict than those with less anxious attachment styles. Importantly, Pphubbing was found to indirectly impact depression through relationship satisfaction and ultimately life satisfaction. Given the ever-increasing use of cell phones to communicate between romantic partners, the present research offers insight into the process by which such use may impact relationship satisfaction and personal well-being. Directions for future research are discussed.
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