Moderation of Technology Use in the Association between Self-Isolation during COVID-19 Pandemic and Adolescents' Romantic Relationship Quality

Michelle F. Wright, Sebastian Wachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating effects of technology use for relationship maintenance on the longitudinal associations among self-isolation during the coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and romantic relationship quality among adolescents. Participants were 239 (120 female; M age = 16.69, standard deviation [SD] = 0.61; 60 percent Caucasian) 11th and 12th graders from three midwestern high schools. To qualify for this study, adolescents had to be in the same romantic relationship for the duration of the study, ∼7 months (M length of relationship = 10.03 months). Data were collected in October of 2019 (Time 1) and again 7 months later in May of 2020 (Time 2). Adolescents completed a romantic relationship questionnaire at Time 1 and again at Time 2, along with questionnaires on frequency of self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and use of technology for romantic relationship maintenance. Findings revealed that increases in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic related positively to the use of technology for romantic relationship maintenance and negatively to Time 2 romantic relationship quality. High use of technology for romantic relationship maintenance buffered against the negative effects of self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents' romantic relationship quality 7 months later, whereas low use strengthened the negative relationship between self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and romantic relationship quality. These findings suggest the importance of considering the implications of societal crisis or pandemics on adolescents' close relationships, particularly their romantic relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume24
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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