Date of Award

8-14-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Cynthia Hoffner - Chair

Second Advisor

Jaye Atkinson

Third Advisor

Yuki Fujioka

Abstract

Based on uses and gratification theory, media richness theory, and social presence theory, the present study explores the role of different communication channels and social support in relationship maintenance among long distance dating partners. Specifically, how social support is related to relational uncertainty, how the use of different communication channels is related to social support variables, and what are main factors of relationship satisfaction are examined in this study. A total of 311 respondents participated in the study. All of four social support variables,emotional support, socializing, advice/guidance and support appraisals were found to be negatively related to relational uncertainty. In addition, both phone call and webcam use were positively related to all support behaviors and support appraisals, while email use was positively related to advice/guidance and support appraisals. Finally, the regression results suggested that emotional support, socializing, support appraisals, phone call, and webcam use were positive predictors of relationship satisfaction, whereas text messaging negatively predicted relationship satisfaction.

Included in

Communication Commons

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