My Partnet's Media Use: A Qualitative Study Exploring Perceptions of Problems With a Partner's Media Use

Document Type


Publication Date



Child and Family Studies


Media and technology use is widespread in American households, yet little is known about how it impacts romantic couples. The present study is an description of how romantic relationships were impacted by respondents’ perceptions of their partners’ media use. A sample of 98 respondents were asked to describe their frustration with their romantic partners’ media use. From the descriptions, four themes and five subthemes were identified, and these included the following conclusive themes that described an element of frustration: relationship impacts, appropriate media use, amount of media use, and distraction from the moment. Subthemes included media types, context of media use, value of media use, addiction, and virtual reality. Results showed mainly negative descriptions of media use with mentions of a few positive uses. The findings implicate further research on frustration over romantic partner’s media use.