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The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce

April 8, 2014 Comments off

The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The purpose of this study was to examine how social networking site (SNS) use, specifically Twitter use, influences negative interpersonal relationship outcomes. This study specifically examined the mediational effect of Twitter-related conflict on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes, and how this mechanism may be contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. A total of 581 Twitter users aged 18 to 67 years (Mage=29, SDage=8.9) completed an online survey questionnaire. Moderation–mediation regression analyses using bootstrapping methods indicated that Twitter-related conflict mediated the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The length of the romantic relationship, however, did not moderate the indirect effect on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes. The results from this study suggest that active Twitter use leads to greater amounts of Twitter-related conflict among romantic partners, which in turn leads to infidelity, breakup, and divorce. This indirect effect is not contingent on the length of the romantic relationship. The current study adds to the growing body of literature investigating SNS use and romantic relationship outcomes.

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Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Australia has remarkably detailed data on non-marital pregnancy dating from 1908. They both offer insight into long-term trends in childbearing resulting from non-marital sexual activity and reveal in historical context key features of the second demographic transition and its genesis.

Objective:
Trends are traced in rates of non-marital conception of children ultimately born both outside and within marriage. A range of related indices is also presented in examining how demographic behaviour surrounding non-marital pregnancy (i) helped generate the second demographic transition and (ii) unfolded as a component of it.

Methods:
Core indices are rates of non-marital conception partitioned into additive components associated with marital and non-marital confinement. Data on non-marital and early marital births (at marriage durations 0-7 months) are lagged back 38 weeks to a date of and age at conception basis to facilitate a common, unmarried, population at risk.

Results:
Post-war weakening of parental oversight of courtship was a fundamental trigger to the broader rejection of normative and institutional values that underpinned the second demographic transition. In tandem with denying the unmarried access to oral contraception it generated rampant youthful non-marital pregnancy, which undermined Judeo-Christian values, especially once abortion law reform occurred.

Conclusions:
Childbearing following non-marital conception transitioned rapidly after the 1960s from primarily the unintended product of youthful intercourse in non-coresidential relationships to mainly intended behaviour at normative reproductive ages in consensual unions. Family formation increasingly mixed non-marital births and premaritally and/or maritally conceived marital births.

Couples, the Internet, and Social Media

February 12, 2014 Comments off

Couples, the Internet, and Social Media
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

The internet, cell phones, and social media have become key actors in the life of many American couples— the 66% of adults who are married or in committed relationships. Couples use technology in the little and large moments. They negotiate over when to use it and when to abstain. A portion of them quarrel over its use and have had hurtful experiences caused by tech use. At the same time, some couples find that digital tools facilitate communication and support. A majority of those in couples maintain their own separate email and social media accounts, though a smaller number report sharing accounts and calendars. And fully two-thirds of couples share passwords.

Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults

February 6, 2014 Comments off

Using Technology to Connect in Romantic Relationships: Effects on Attachment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Stability in Emerging Adults
Source: Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy

This exploratory path analysis was designed to identify significant associations among technology use and relationship variables in a population of emerging adults. Two hundred seventy-six young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in committed relationships completed survey questions about ways they connect with their partners using technology. Actor and partner effects were obtained. A measure of attachment behaviors in relationships was tested as a mediator. Results indicate that attachment behaviors were universally associated with relationship satisfaction and stability for both men and women. No significant associations were found with social networking sites. Male texting frequency was negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and stability scores for both partners while female texting frequency was positively associated with their own relationship stability scores. Texting to express affection was associated with higher reported partner attachment for both men and women. For men, texting to hurt their partners was negatively associated with reported partner attachment, relationship satisfaction, and stability. Male-reported partner attachment mediated the relationship between texting to hurt partners and relationship satisfaction, and mediated the relationship between texting to express affection and satisfaction. Other differences and clinical implications are discussed.

Intimate partner violence among women with mental health-related activity limitations: a Canadian population based study

February 3, 2014 Comments off

Intimate partner violence among women with mental health-related activity limitations: a Canadian population based study
Source: BMC Public Health

Background
There is strong evidence that women with serious or chronic mental illness experience higher rates of violence than women in the general population. Our objective was to examine the risk of intimate partner violence (IPV), a form of violence that is often recurrent and linked to negative physical and psychological consequences, among a representative sample of non-institutionalized women with activity limitations (ALs) due to a mental health condition.

Methods
Data from the 2009 General Social Survey were used, a national, population-based, cross-sectional survey. The sample included 6851 women reporting contact with a current or former partner in the previous five years, of whom 322 (4.7%) reported a mental health-related AL always/often or sometimes.

Results
The prevalence of any type of IPV was highest among women with mental health-related ALs always/often (54.4%), followed by women reporting ALs sometimes (49.9%), and those reporting no ALs (18.3%, p < 0.0001). The same pattern was observed for emotional (51.1%, 45.5%, 16.3%, p < 0.0001) and financial IPV (18.1%, 9.5%, 4.0%, p < 0.0001). For physical/sexual violence, rates were similar among women reporting mental health-related ALs always/often and sometimes, but were lower among those reporting no ALs (20.2%, 20.9%, 5.9%, p < 0.0001). In a logistic regression analysis the odds of having experienced any IPV remained greater for women reporting ALs always/often (OR = 3.65; 95% CI: 2.10, 6.32) and sometimes (OR = 3.20; 95% CI: 2.15, 4.75) than those reporting no ALs. Several social capital variables, including perceptions of having experienced discrimination, a weak sense of belonging in their local community, and low trust toward family members and strangers were also significantly associated with having experienced IPV.

Conclusion
Findings suggest that women with mental health-related ALs may be at increased risk of IPV. Health and social service providers may need, therefore, to better target prevention and intervention initiatives to this population.

Associations between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

January 9, 2014 Comments off

Associations between Intimate Partner Violence and Termination of Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Source: PLoS Medicine

Background
Intimate partner violence (IPV) and termination of pregnancy (TOP) are global health concerns, but their interaction is undetermined. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an association between IPV and TOP.

Methods and Findings
A systematic review based on a search of Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and Ovid Maternity and Infant Care from each database’s inception to 21 September 2013 for peer-reviewed articles of any design and language found 74 studies regarding women who had undergone TOP and had experienced at least one domain (physical, sexual, or emotional) of IPV. Prevalence of IPV and association between IPV and TOP were meta-analysed. Sample sizes ranged from eight to 33,385 participants. Worldwide, rates of IPV in the preceding year in women undergoing TOP ranged from 2.5% to 30%. Lifetime prevalence by meta-analysis was shown to be 24.9% (95% CI 19.9% to 30.6%); heterogeneity was high (I2>90%), and variation was not explained by study design, quality, or size, or country gross national income per capita. IPV, including history of rape, sexual assault, contraceptive sabotage, and coerced decision-making, was associated with TOP, and with repeat TOPs. By meta-analysis, partner not knowing about the TOP was shown to be significantly associated with IPV (pooled odds ratio 2.97, 95% CI 2.39 to 3.69). Women in violent relationships were more likely to have concealed the TOP from their partner than those who were not. Demographic factors including age, ethnicity, education, marital status, income, employment, and drug and alcohol use showed no strong or consistent mediating effect. Few long-term outcomes were studied. Women welcomed the opportunity to disclose IPV and be offered help. Limitations include study heterogeneity, potential underreporting of both IPV and TOP in primary data sources, and inherent difficulties in validation.

Conclusions
IPV is associated with TOP. Novel public health approaches are required to prevent IPV. TOP services provide an opportune health-based setting to design and test interventions.

CRS — Child Support: An Overview of Census Bureau Data on Recipients

December 27, 2013 Comments off

Child Support: An Overview of Census Bureau Data on Recipients (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The national Census Bureau data show that in 2011, 14.4 million parents had custody of children under age 21 while the other parent lived elsewhere, and the aggregate amount of child support received was $23.6 billion. In 2011, 82% of custodial parents were mothers. Of all custodial parents, 50% were white, 25% were black, 21% were Hispanic, 18% were married, 33% were divorced, 35% were never married, 15% did not have a high school diploma, 17% had at least a bachelor’s degree, 50% worked full-time year-round, 29% had family income below poverty, and 39% received some type of public assistance. In 2011, only 2.7 million (38%) of the nearly 7.1 million custodial parents with child support orders actually received the full amount of child support that was owed to them. The average yearly child support payment received by custodial parents with payments was $5,160 for mothers and $4,433 for fathers. These full or partial payments represented 17% of the custodial mothers’ total yearly income and 11% of the custodial fathers’. Compared to 1993 Census data, less child support was received by custodial parents in 2011 ($23.9 billion in 1993 versus $23.6 billion in 2011; in 2011 dollars). However, a higher percentage of those owed child support actually received all that they were due (36.9% in 1993 versus 43.4% in 2011).

Preventing Revictimization in Teen Dating Relationships

December 12, 2013 Comments off

Preventing Revictimization in Teen Dating Relationships (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

Revictimization refers to the occurrence of two or more instances of violence and poses an enormous criminal justice problem . Adolescent girls in the child welfare system are at high risk of revictimization in adolescence. Most interventions with teens have focused on primary prevention (that is, prevention in teens not previously exposed to violence) of physical (usually not sexual) violence. In addition, interventions have frequently targeted youth in school settings, though youth in the child welfare system experience frequent transitions in housing/care that disrupt regular attendance at a single school. Thus, child welfare youth at high risk of revictimization may not receive preve ntion programming as consistently as their peers. Thus, the current study compared two active interventions designed to decrease revictimization in a diverse sample of adolescent girls in the child welfare system. The interventions targeted theoretically distinct risk factors for revictimization. The social learning/feminist (SL/F) intervention focused on concepts derived from social le arning and feminist models of risk, such as sexism and beliefs about relationships. The risk detection/executive function (RD/EF) intervention focused on potential disruptions in the ability to detect and respond to risky situations/people due to problems in executive function.

User recommendation in reciprocal and bipartite social networks — a case study of online dating

December 12, 2013 Comments off

User recommendation in reciprocal and bipartite social networks –a case study of online dating (PDF)
Source: arXiv.org
<blockquote?
Many social networks in our daily life are bipartite networks built on reciprocity. How can we recommend users/friends to a user, so that the user is interested in and attractive to recommended users? In this research, we propose a new collaborative filtering model to improve user recom-mendations in reciprocal and bipartite social networks. The model considers a user’s “taste” in picking others and “attractiveness” in being picked by others. A case study of an online dating network shows that the new model has good performance in recommending both initial and reciprocal contacts.

See: Love Connection: Advice for Online Daters (Science Daily)

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes Of Victimization, 1993–2011

December 11, 2013 Comments off

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes Of Victimization, 1993–2011
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents data on trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2011. Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report focuses on attributes of the victimization such as the type of crime, type of attack, whether the victim was threatened before the attack, use of a weapon by the offender, victim injury, and medical treatment received for injuries. The report also describes ways these attributes of the victimization may be used to measure seriousness or severity of the incident. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police. The NCVS is a self-report survey administered every six months to persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Highlights:

  • From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence declined 72% for females and 64% for males. „„
  • Nonfatal serious violence comprised more than a third of intimate partner violence against females and males during the most recent 10-year period (2002–11). „„
  • An estimated two-thirds of female and male intimate partner victimizations involved a physical attack in 2002–11; the remaining third involved an attempted attack or verbal threat of harm. „„
  • In 2002–11, 8% of female intimate partner victimizations involved some form of sexual violence during the incident. „„
  • About 4% of females and 8% of males who were victimized by an intimate partner were shot at, stabbed, or hit with a weapon in 2002–11.

Definitions of Domestic Violence

December 9, 2013 Comments off

Definitions of Domestic Violence
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This factsheet provides both civil and criminal definitions of domestic violence. The definition often varies depending on the context in which the term is used. A clinical or behavioral definition is “a pattern of assaultive and/or coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.” Legal definitions across the States generally describe specific conduct or acts that are subject to civil and criminal actions, and the specific language used may vary depending on whether the definition is found in the civil or criminal sections of the State’s code. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.

Settling for Less out of Fear of Being Single

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Settling for Less out of Fear of Being Single (PDF)
Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (in press)

The present research demonstrates that fear of being single predicts settling for less in romantic relationships, even accounting for constructs typically examined in relationship research such as anxious attachment. Study 1 explored the content of people’s thoughts about being single. Studies 2A and 2B involved the development and validation of the Fear of Being Single Scale. Study 2C provided preliminary support for the hypothesis that fear of being single predicts settling for less in ongoing relationships, as evidenced by greater dependence in unsatisfying relationships. Study 3 replicated this effect in a longitudinal study demonstrating that fear of being single predicts lower likelihood of initiating the dissolution of a less satisfying relationship. Studies 4A and 4B explored the predictive ability of fear of being single for self-reported dating standards. Across both samples, fear of being single was unrelated to self-reported standards for a mate, with the exception of consistently higher standards for parenting. Studies 5 and 6 explored romantic interest in targets that were manipulated to vary in responsiveness and physical attractiveness. These studies found that fear of being single consistently predicted romantic interest in less responsive and less attractive dating targets. Study 7 explored fear of being single during a speed-dating event. We found that fear of being single predicted being less selective in expressing romantic interest but did not predict other daters’ romantic interest. Taken together, the present research suggests that fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011

November 28, 2013 Comments off

Intimate Partner Violence: Attributes of Victimization, 1993–2011
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Presents data on trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2011. Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report focuses on attributes of the victimization such as the type of crime, type of attack, whether the victim was threatened before the attack, use of a weapon by the offender, victim injury, and medical treatment received for injuries. The report also describes ways these attributes of the victimization may be used to measure seriousness or severity of the incident. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police. The NCVS is a self-report survey administered every six months to persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Highlights:

  • From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence declined 72% for females and 64% for males. „„
  • Nonfatal serious violence comprised more than a third of intimate partner violence against females and males during the most recent 10-year period (2002–11). „„
  • An estimated two-thirds of female and male intimate partner victimizations involved a physical attack in 2002–11; the remaining third involved an attempted attack or verbal threat of harm. „„
  • In 2002–11, 8% of female intimate partner victimizations involved some form of sexual violence during the incident. „„
    About 4% of females and 8% of males who were victimized by an intimate partner were shot at, stabbed, or hit with a weapon in 2002–11.

Matching with Couples: Stability and Incentives in Large Markets

November 4, 2013 Comments off

Matching with Couples: Stability and Incentives in Large Markets (PDF)
Source: Quarterly Journal of Economics

Accommodating couples has been a longstanding issue in the design of centralized labor market clearinghouses for doctors and psychologists, because couples view pairs of jobs as complements. A stable matching may not exist when couples are present. This paper’s main result is that a stable matching exists when there are relatively few couples and preference lists are sufficiently short relative to market size. We also discuss incentives in markets with couples. We relate these theoretical results to the job market for psychologists, in which stable matchings exist for all years of the data, despite the presence of couples.

See: Study explains how a job-market system lands couples in the same city (EurekAlert!)

Energetic Consequences of Human Sociality: Walking Speed Choices among Friendly Dyads

November 1, 2013 Comments off

Energetic Consequences of Human Sociality: Walking Speed Choices among Friendly Dyads
Source: PLoS ONE

Research has shown that individuals have an optimal walking speed–a speed which minimizes energy expenditure for a given distance. Because the optimal walking speed varies with mass and lower limb length, it also varies with sex, with males in any given population tending to have faster optimal walking speeds. This potentially creates an energetic dilemma for mixed-sex walking groups. Here we examine speed choices made by individuals of varying stature, mass, and sex walking together. Individuals (N = 22) walked around a track alone, with a significant other (with and without holding hands), and with friends of the same and opposite sex while their speeds were recorded every 100 m. Our findings show that males walk at a significantly slower pace to match the females’ paces (p = 0.009), when the female is their romantic partner. The paces of friends of either same or mixed sex walking together did not significantly change (p>0.05). Thus significant pace adjustment appears to be limited to romantic partners. These findings have implications for both mobility and reproductive strategies of groups. Because the male carries the energetic burden by adjusting his pace (slowing down 7%), the female is spared the potentially increased caloric cost required to walk together. In energetically demanding environments, we will expect to find gender segregation in group composition, particularly when travelling longer distances.

See: Men tend to walk slower when walking with romantic partners (EurekAlert!)

Online Dating & Relationships

October 21, 2013 Comments off

Online Dating & Relationships
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project

One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app; 66% of these online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app, and 23% have met a spouse or long term partner through these sites. Public attitudes toward online dating have become more positive in recent years, but many users also report negative experiences.

Live Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Mother 1, 2012

October 16, 2013 Comments off

Live Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Mother 1, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • In 2012, nearly half (49%) of all live births were to mothers aged 30 and over.
  • In 2012, nearly two-thirds (65%) of fathers were aged 30 and over (excluding births registered solely by the mother).
  • In 2012, the standardised average age of mothers for all births was 29.8 years.
  • In 2012, for first births the standardised average age of mothers was 28.1 years.
  • In 2012, 84% of babies were registered by parents who were married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting.

Drinking games as a venue for sexual competition

October 10, 2013 Comments off

Drinking games as a venue for sexual competition
Source: Evolutionary Psychology

Based on sexual selection theory, we hypothesized that sex differences in mating effort and social competitiveness—and subsequent sex differences in sexual and competitive motivations for participating in drinking games—are responsible for the well-documented sex differences in college students’ drinking game behaviors. Participants in a cross-sectional study were 351 women and 336 men aged 17 to 26. In a mediation model, we tested sex differences in mating effort, social competitiveness, sexual and competitive motivations for participating in drinking games, drinking game behaviors, and alcohol-related problems. Men participated in drinking games more frequently, consumed more alcohol while participating in drinking games, and experienced more problems associated with drinking. These sex differences appeared to be partially mediated by mating effort, social competitiveness, and sexual and competitive motivations for participating in drinking games. Drinking games are a major venue in which college students engage in heavy episodic drinking, which is a risk factor for college students’ behavioral and health problems. Thus, the functional perspective we used to analyze them here may help to inform public health and university interventions and enable better identification of at-risk students.

Friendship as a relationship infiltration tactic during human mate poaching

October 9, 2013 Comments off

Friendship as a relationship infiltration tactic during human mate poaching
Source: Evolutionary Psychology

Previous research has characterized human mate poaching as a prevalent alternative mating strategy that entails risks and costs typically not present during general romantic courtship and attraction. This study is the first to experimentally investigate friendship between a poacher and his/her target as a risk mitigation tactic. Participants (N = 382) read a vignette that differed by whether the poacher was male/female and whether the poacher and poached were friends/acquaintances. Participants assessed the likelihood of the poacher being successful and incurring costs. They also rated the poacher and poached on several personality and mate characteristics. Results revealed that friendship increased the perceived likelihood of success of a mate poaching attempt and decreased the perceived likelihood of several risks typically associated with mate poaching. However, friend-poachers were rated less favorably than acquaintance-poachers across measures of warmth, nurturance, and friendliness. These findings are interpreted using an evolutionary perspective. This study complements and builds upon previous findings and is the first experimental investigation of tactics poachers may use to mitigate risks inherent in mate poaching.

Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2012

October 8, 2013 Comments off

Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • The provisional number of civil partnerships in the UK in 2012 was 7,037, an increase of 3.6% since 2011.
  • The average age of men forming a civil partnership in the UK in 2012 was 40.0 years, while for women the average age was 37.6 years. These figures represent a small decrease in average ages in comparison to 2011.
  • The provisional number of civil partnership dissolutions granted in England and Wales in 2012 was 794, an increase of 20% since 2011.
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