Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Department

Communication

Advisor 1

Erin M. Sahlstein, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

Second Committee Member

Joseph M. Valenzano III

Graduate Faculty Representative

Katherine M. Hertlein

Number of Pages

172

Abstract

This study addressed communication constraints perceived by individuals in long-distance dating relationships (LDDRs) and how these constraints are managed. Internal constraints are identified within the boundaries of the individual or relationship and external constraints are those that originate from outside the boundaries of the individual or relationship. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 27 participants; ages ranged from 18-35. Participants reported perceiving 11 internal constraints (mediated communication, avoidance, talk habits, physical absence, emotions, view of outsiders, uncertainty and expectations, effort, notions of distance, visits, and miscellaneous) and five external constraints (schedules, social network, finances, and technology, miscellaneous). Participants reported managing constraints as individuals and as dyads. Constraints are discussed to be hierarchical; notions of distance, schedules, social network, finances, and technology are primary constraints; all others are secondary. Emotions and avoidance also allow participants to manage other constraints. Applications and areas of future research are also discussed.

Keywords

Communication; Constraints; Interviewing; Long-distance relationships; Qualitative methods; Relational dialectics

Disciplines

Communication | Social Psychology

Language

English


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