Communication Interdependence and Cohabitation: The Role of Interpersonal Technologies in Satisfaction and Disillusionment among Couples in Transition

Liesel L. Sharabi, Elizabeth Dorrance-Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The transition to cohabitation is a major developmental milestone for romantic couples, yet it is linked to myriad negative outcomes. This study extends the communication interdependence perspective (CIP) to understand the role of technology use in relationship transitions (i.e., the transition to cohabitation). Couples (N = 258 individuals) completed an online survey before and after transitioning to cohabitation to test actor and partner effects of technology integration, segmentation, and difficulty transitioning on relationship satisfaction and ambivalence. Results showed that for actors, constructive integration had positive associations and destructive integration had negative associations with relational outcomes. Difficulty transitioning between channels of communication also had negative implications for relationships. Longitudinal results indicated that negative integration patterns could sometimes buffer against relationship disillusionment. Theoretical implications for the CIP and practical implications for couples are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-319
Number of pages28
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Keywords

  • Cohabitation
  • Communication Interdependence Perspective
  • Disillusionment
  • Relationship Transitions
  • Satisfaction
  • Technology Use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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