Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Counseling

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Robert Rocco Cottone, Ph.D.


Kashubeck-West, Susan

Miller, Keith

Hoagland, Carl


Mobile technology has become a consistent part of the everyday lives of the majority of Americans. The effect that the constant presence of mobile devices can have on a relationship has yet to be addressed in either the couples counseling or the technology literature. This study addressed an identified gap in the literature on the presence and usage of mobile devices and couple relationship satisfaction. A quantitative design was used in order to study the constructs of: usage of a mobile device during wake time spent together with one’s partner, relationship satisfaction, physical affection, conflict related to mobile device usage, rules related to mobile device usage, and relationship interference due to mobile device usage. Two hundred and thirty-four adults in coupled relationships completed an online survey related to these variables. Results indicated that relationship satisfaction negatively correlated with participant and partner reported mobile device usage during wake time spent together, conflict over mobile device usage, and interference due to mobile device usage. Additionally, conflict over mobile device usage and interference due to mobile device usage both mediated the relationship between mobile device usage, both participant and partner, and relationship satisfaction. Finally, partner mobile device usage was found to negatively correlate with physical affection. These results provide evidence of a relationship between the presence of a mobile device during wake time spent with one’s partner and relationship satisfaction and physical affection. Counseling implications and areas for future research are addressed and discussed.

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