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Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Anderson

Abstract

Individuals in long-term relationships use relational maintenance strategies to sustain their relationships. This study investigates differences in the use of relational maintenance strategies by relational status (dating, engaged, and married) and by choice of communication channel. Findings from N = 96 individuals in long-term romantic relationships revealed that the most commonly used strategy was assurances, and that positivity and openness decreased as the length of relationship increased. Face-to-face was the most commonly used communication channel across all relational maintenance strategies, and social networking sites were the least used. In addition, married couples were less likely than either dating or engaged couples to use texting to maintain their relationships. Future studies can examine these theoretical relationships in more diverse samples that include greater cultural diversity and include long-distance relationships.

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