Going the Distance: A Quantitative Study of College Students, Communication Media and Strategic Maintenance Behaviors Used within Geographically Close Romantic Relationships and Long Distance Romantic Relationships
Martens, Ashley A.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Fine Arts and Communication
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This thesis involved the study of communication media used within long distance and geographically close romantic relationships. A literature review provides a thorough review of the variables including relationship type (long distance and geographically close), communication media (phone, text message, e-mail, social networks, instant messaging, and video chat), satisfaction with the media, overall relational satisfaction, and strategic maintenance behaviors (advice, assurances, conflict management, openness, positivity, sharing tasks, and social networks) used within relationships via communication media. Although this study is comprised of multiple research questions, the main goals of this study were to discover which communication medium individuals in LDRs and GCRs primarily used to stay in contact with their significant other and how these communication choices impacted the relationship. The findings of the current study support previous research in the field of interpersonal communication with regard to communication technology and strategic maintenance, but challenge some areas as well. First, individuals in long distance relationships and geographically close relationships had slightly different preferences when selecting a primary communication media. Second, individuals in long distance relationships thought their primary communication medium (text messaging) offered more satisfaction than individuals in geographically close relationships. Last, individuals in long distance relationships and geographically close relationships used different forms of communication media to strategically maintain their relationships with their significant others.