Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Mary Carole Pistole

Committee Member 1

Susan Prieto-Welch

Committee Member 2

Eric Deemer

Committee Member 3

Ala Samarapungavan


The purpose of this study was to better understand long-distance relationships (LDRs). More specifically, I examined how attachment style, technology use, and sexual satisfaction contribute to LDR satisfaction and compared the model to geographically close relationship (GCR) satisfaction. I also examined attachment style and LDR/GCR differences in amount of and channels of technology use. College students (N = 326), who were 18 years or older and identified as in a romantic relationship, completed the following measures: (a) Relationship Questionnaire (RQ; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991), which categorically measures attachment style; (b) a deconstructed version of the RQ, which provides a continuous measure of attachment style; (c) Technology Use Questionnaire (TUQ), which was created for this study to measure the frequency of using various technology channels (i.e., phone, e-mail, social networking sites [SNS], text messaging, instant messaging [IM], and video chat), (d) General Measure of Sexual Satisfaction (GMSEX; Lawrance & Byers, 1998), which measures sexual satisfaction; and (e) Couples Satisfaction Index-16 (CSI-16; Funk & Rogge, 2007), which measures relationship satisfaction. A hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) indicated that video chat use and sexual satisfaction contributed significantly and positively to LDR relationship satisfaction. A second HMR indicated phone and email use and sexual satisfaction contributed significantly and positively to GCR relationship satisfaction. A comparison of the models revealed that technology channel use contributed differently to LDR and GCR relationship satisfaction, with sexual satisfaction contributing to relationship satisfaction in both LDRs and GCRs. Additionally, an ANOVA for total amount of technology use and a MANOVA for technology channels used revealed significant differences in attachment style and LDR/GCR technology use. More specifically, although there was no attachment style difference in the amount of technology use, the securely attached reported higher phone use than the preoccupiedly and fearfully attached, and the securely attached reported higher email use than the preoccupiedly attached. Notably, LDR participants reported higher overall technology use than GCR participants and LDR participants reported higher phone, texting, and video chat use than GCR participants. Counseling psychology practice and research implications are discussed.