Study finds regular 'phubbing' could be damaging marriages
A pair of psychologists at Niğde Ömer Halisdemir University, has found evidence showing that married couples who regularly engage in phone snubbing (phubbing) have lower marriage satisfaction than couples who do not. In their study, reported in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, Suat Kılıçarslan and İzzet Parmaksız sent questionnaires to married couples in Turkey and compiled results from those that were returned.
The advent of the smartphone has resulted in the development of behavior never before seen in the human race—people becoming glued to an external device. Sociologists have noted that such changes are having an impact—some people feel less lonely because they are always "connected." Others feel more isolated because they never seem to connect with anyone in a direct way.
And now it seems that a new behavior has been identified—"phubbing," or "phone snubbing"—in which people cut off conversations with others in their vicinity as they talk or text on their phone. If two people are doing it to each other, it is double-phubbing.
In this new effort, the researchers explored the impact phubbing might have on marriages. To find out, they created surveys to associate closeness in a marriage with phone use. They sent out hundreds of them to married people in Turkey and received back 712, nearly half and half, male to female. The average age was 37.
The researchers found a pattern—couples who reported more phubbing in their home also reported less satisfaction in their marriage. They note that their findings make sense logically. People tend not to respond well when ignored. They did not discuss the possibility that less-satisfied partners might be more inclined to phub their spouse. They do note that the problem is easily fixed: married couples can try turning off their phones more often.
More information: Suat Kılıçarslan et al, The mediator role of effective communication skills on the relationship between phubbing tendencies and marriage satisfaction in married individuals, Computers in Human Behavior (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2023.107863
Journal information: Computers in Human Behavior
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