Impact of Facebook Use on Romantic Relationship Satisfaction and Mood
Authors:Lorena Escalante, Carolina Lemus, Destiny Mendez, Jeffrey Taynton
Mentor:Misty Kolchakian, Professor of Psychology, Mt. San Antonio College
The purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of Facebook use on romantic relationship satisfaction, relationship insecurity, self-esteem, and mood. Participants in the study consisted of 86 undergraduate students (35 male, 49 female, 2 did not respond) enrolled in Psychology courses. The Relationship Assessment Scale and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were used to measure relationship satisfaction and self-esteem, respectively, while the Facebook-related items (assessing relationship insecurity and mood changes during Facebook use) were created by the researchers. The researchers hypothesized there would be a negative correlation between time spent on Facebook and romantic relationship satisfaction. This hypothesis was not supported by the data, r(72) = -.08, n.s. The researchers also hypothesized there would be a positive correlation between the amount of time spent on Facebook and Facebook-related romantic relationship insecurity (e.g. experiencing jealous feelings as a result of seeing comments or posts on a romantic partner’s Facebook page). This hypothesis was supported by the data, r(74) = .27, p < .05. Finally, the researchers hypothesized there would be a negative correlation between self-esteem and mood decline during Facebook use. This hypothesis was not confirmed by the data, r(83) = .14, n.s. However, mood decline was significantly correlated with insecure Facebook behaviors, r(74) = .42, p < .01. Additionally, women had a significantly higher rating on Facebook-related relationship insecurity as compared to men, t(73) = -2.37, p < .05. Thus, it appears that mood may be more related to the way one uses time on Facebook as opposed to the overall amount of time spent on the site. Future research should include further exploration of the effects of monitoring romantic partners via Facebook. This could assist individuals in identifying healthy vs. unhealthy Facebook use, thereby optimizing the use of social networking to promote mental well-being.