Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues

John T. Cacioppo, Stephanie Cacioppo, Gian C. Gonzaga, Elizabeth L. Ogburn, Tyler J. Vanderweele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Marital discord is costly to children, families, and communities. The advent of the Internet, social networking, and on-line dating has affected how people meet future spouses, but little is known about the prevalence or outcomes of these marriages or the demographics of those involved. We addressed these questions in a nationally representative sample of 19,131 respondents who married between 2005 and 2012. Results indicate that more than one-third of marriages in America now begin on-line. In addition, marriages that began online, when compared with those that began through traditional offline venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital breakup (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married. Demographic differences were identified between respondents who met their spouse through on-line vs. traditional off-line venues, but the findings for marital break-up and marital satisfaction remained significant after statistically controlling for these differences. These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10135-10140
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume110
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 18 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dyads
  • Marital outcomes
  • Social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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