Counselor education, college counseling, attachment styles, facebook, relationship development
The purpose of this research study was to investigate the directional relationship between college students' attachment styles and social media practices with their relationship development. This investigation tested the theoretical model that undergraduate students' (N = 717) attachment styles (as measured by the Experiences in Close Relationships-Short form [ECR-S; Wei et al., 2007]) and social media practices (as measured by the Facebook Intensity Scale [FBI; Ellison et al., 2007] and Motives for Going Facebook Official Scale [MGFBO; Fox & Warber, 2013]) contributed to their quality of relationship development (as measured by the Parks Relational Development Scale [PRDS; Parks & Roberts, 1998]). Specifically, this investigation tested the hypothesized directional relationship that students scoring in the insecure attachment range (i.e., avoidant or anxious) with higher levels of social media practices would have lower levels of relationship development quality. In addition, this investigation examined the relationship between college students' attachment styles, social media practices, and relationship development quality with their reported demographic information (e.g., age, current school level, and ethnicity). The results of the structural equation model (SEM) analyses identified that college students' attachment style contributed to the relationship development quality (96.04% of the variance explained) and their social media practices (2.56% of the variance explained). Furthermore, the results of the analyses identified that students' social media practices contributed to their relationship development quality (.4% of the variance explained). Implications of the findings from the study include (a) the inclusion of additional psychosocial intake questions for college counselors; (b) identification of current trends in undergraduate students' attachment styles, social media practices, and relationship development functioning for counselor educators to support the development of counselors-in-training; and (c) insight into the instrument development of the ECR-S, FBI, MGFBO, and PRDS.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Dean's Office, Education
Education; Counselor Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic
Sherrell, Renee, "The Contribution of College Students' Attachment Styles and Social Media Practices on their Relationship Development" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4688.