Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Barbara Winstead

Committee Member

Robin J. Lewis

Committee Member

Mark W. Scerbo


This study examined the influence of depression symptoms, social anxiety symptoms, and adult attachment style on the use and the perceptions of the quality of cyber communications with close friends, romantic partners, and family members. One hundred thirty-five individuals completed an initial survey, with sixty five of the original group completing a follow-up survey five weeks later. Results indicated that anxious attachment was associated with a greater reported usage of social networking sites, whereas avoidant attachment predicted less instant message use over time. Depression symptoms and avoidant attachment were generally associated with perceptions of higher negativity and lower positivity with some of the target groups, where as social anxiety symptoms were generally associated with perceptions of more positive interactions. These findings indicate that depression symptoms, social anxiety symptoms, and attachment are differentially associated with quantity and perceived quality of use of cyber communication. Implications for understanding the relationship between psychological symptoms and problematic interpersonal behavior via social networking, activities are discussed.


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