Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Donna Thomas


The popularity of online social networks prompts an examination of the effects these websites have on intimate relationships. While these networks have received a considerable amount of attention in mainstream media, peer-reviewed research examining the effects these websites have on users is sparse. By their very nature, online social networks involve the creation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. As such, the effect of these networks on relationships may be profound and with the paucity of research on the topic, the relationship between online social networks and interpersonal relationships is an important area of study. The present study sought to examine relations among online social network usage, relationship satisfaction, intimacy, and social comparison tendencies in intimate relationships. While initial analyses only found support for a relationship between intimacy and relationship satisfaction, post hoc analyses found a negative relationship between intimacy and perception of a partner's use of online social networks. It was also found that intimacy mediates the relationship between online social network usage and overall relationship satisfaction.