Technology-Based Communication and the Development of Interpersonal Competencies Within Adolescent Romantic Relationships: A Preliminary Investigation

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This study investigated longitudinal associations between adolescents' technology-based communication and the development of interpersonal competencies within romantic relationships. A school-based sample of 487 adolescents (58% girls; Mage = 14.1) participated at two time points, one year apart. Participants reported (1) proportions of daily communication with romantic partners via traditional modes (in person, on the phone) versus technological modes (text messaging, social networking sites) and (2) competence in the romantic relationship skill domains of negative assertion and conflict management. Results of cross-lagged panel models indicated that adolescents who engaged in greater proportions of technology-based communication with romantic partners reported lower levels of interpersonal competencies one year later, but not vice versa; associations were particularly strong for boys.

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