Phubbing Could Hurt Personal Relationships

A recent study published online by researchers this week found that phubbing or phone snubbing with a cell phones could be damaging to romantic relationships and could make people more depressed.

The research team conducted two individual surveys of over 450 adults in the U.S.

When a person believes their partner has phubbed them, it created conflict and led to lower levels of relationship satisfaction, said the authors of the study and ultimately to higher depression levels as a consequence.

The study has shown that 46.3% reported they had been phubbed by a partner, while 22.6% said the phubbing has caused their relationship to have conflict. Depression was also reported by as many as 36%, while just 32% expressed by overly satisfied with their current relationship.

The teams developed a scale they titled Partner Phubbing Scale, in which they believed is important for demonstrating that today’s phubbing is empirically and conceptually different from the attitudes toward mobile handsets, partners phone use, phone addition and phone conflict.

The survey researchers first carried out involved 308 adults in which a nine-item scale of typical behaviors of smartphone use that was identified as snubbing was built.

The scale included statements such as my partner puts his or her smartphone where they can always see it when together, as well as my partner looks at his or her smartphone when they talk to me.

In the other survey, there were 145 participants and the team used the scale with couples to measure areas regarding relationships as well as life satisfaction, depression along with those experiences by respondents who feel less secure than a partner.

The authors of the study suggest that the more one person interrupts couple time through use of a smartphone, the less likely the other half of the couple will remain satisfied with the relationship. That in turn could lead to more depressed feelings and a lower feeling of well being of that individual.

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