Title

Texting, sexting, attachment, and intimacy in college students’ romantic relationships

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume

28

Inclusive pages

444-449

Abstract

In this study, we explored how texting and sexting practices are related to attachment in college students’ (n = 744) committed romantic relationships. Participants completed a survey containing questions about their texting and sexting practices and attachment styles with relationship partners. Results showed that texting and sexting are relatively common in young adult romantic relationships, and texting and sexting are both significantly related to attachment style. However, whereas text messaging was more common among those with secure attachments (i.e., those with less attachment avoidance), sexting (both texts and pictures) was more common among those with insecure attachments, particularly those with higher attachment avoidance. Whereas anxious attachment predicted variance in sending sex text messages only, attachment avoidance contributed unique variance in sending both sex texts and pictures. This relationship was moderated by gender—avoidant men were more likely than avoidant women to send sex text and picture messages to relationship partners.

Keywords

text messaging, sexting, young adults, attachment, committed relationships

Disciplines

Psychology

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