Linking instant messaging habits in romantic relationships with attachment dimensions and love styles

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Stolarek, Janusz
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to investigate the link between Instant Messaging (IM) habits in emerging romantic relationships with Attachment Dimensions (Adult Attachment Scale) and Love Styles (Love Attitudes Scale – Short Form). A between-subjects quantitative, comparative and cross-sectional design was utilised. A total of 316 individuals under 34 years of age participated (65.5% female and 34.5% male) and were recruited through opportunity sampling. Females scored higher on Pragmatic while males scored higher on Agape. Expected gender differences on the Ludus style were not found. The Anxiety dimension positively correlates with the Mania style and high scores on these variables are linked with the likelihood of repeated checking, rereading messages, considering message length and hiding online status. Results of the study contribute to an understanding of the dynamics of digital communication in romantic relationships. Development of sliding scale regarding IM habits is recommended.