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Specifications Introduction communicates the research question, and this question matches the actual content of the essay


Specifications Introduction communicates the research question, and this question matches the actual content of the essay. Essay emphasizes high-quality, relevant, scholarly sources All body paragraph

Roneisha Elzy

ILR 260

Research Question:

“How does online infidelity affect relationships?”


Psychologist Mao Angelina and Raguram Ahalya (2009) wrote an article focusing on the negative impact of online infidelity on marital relationships and the importance of marriage counseling to rebuild trust. First they took a look at what constitutes infidelity online based on three factors: First being that sexual and emotional relationships outside a marriage is unacceptable, second the act is done in secrecy, and third it is a breach of trust. Their research included a married woman who discovered her husband was having a cyber chat of sexual nature via the internet with another woman. Through marriage counseling the couple explored the comprehensive nature of their marriage which revealed they were both dissatisfied having underlying issues within one’s self and each other. The outcome was successful due to both spouses actively engaging in therapy and the husband’s willingness to accept responsibility. The doctors conclude that couples affected by online infidelity must deal with the underlying issues to rebuild marital trust, but more research is needed in regards to the mental health of the spouses.


Mao A, Raguram A. Online infidelity: The new challenge to marriages. Indian J Psychiatry 2009;51:302-4


Psychiatric researchers Rosanna Guadagno and Brad Sagarin (2010) oversaw an experiment to see if online infidelity created jealousy amongst men, women, or both. They pointed out how it has already been established that with conventional infidelity men are more distressed at the thought of their partner being sexually involved with another individual. However, women are more distressed at the thought of their partner being emotionally involved with someone else. The study was done to see if there would be a difference in jealousy if the same said acts were done via the internet. The researchers created a survey for 332 undergraduate participants (132 male, 200 female) asking a series of questions about their hypothetical responses to online emotional and sexual infidelity. As expected, the results were a replica of the offline established distressed outcomes. Online infidelity creates jealousy amongst women and men but there is more research needed because some participants believed that online infidelity can lead to conventional infidelity.


Guadagno, R., & Sagarin, B. (2010). Sex Differences in Jealousy: An Evolutionary Perspective on Online Infidelity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(10), 2636–2655.


Irum Abbasi, a psychologist at San Jose State University, conducted research that studied how excessive use of social networking sites (SNSs) can create jealousy, envy, suspicion, surveillance, and infidelity within romantic relationships. Irum’s research team examined 252 committed partners (167 females, 85 males) ages of 18 to 73 years old. The results concluded that younger participants had more SNSs accounts, which linked to their SNSs addiction scores. The research suggested that people who spend a lot of time on SNSs have a low relationship commitment due to online alternative attractions and emotional investments. However, during this study they used self-report scales, did not match participants with their partners, and findings were based on the actor instead of partner effect.


Abbasi, I. (2019). Social Media and Committed Relationships: What Factors Make Our Romantic Relationship Vulnerable? Social Science Computer Review, 37(3), 425–434.


Psychiatric researchers Branden Henline, Leanne Lamke, and Michael Howard (2007) administered a study examining 123 individuals in committed relationships, sentiments of online infidelity that may lead to conventional infidelity. Participants agreed that sexually and emotionally based offenses were unfaithful and expressed more discomfort pertaining to emotional than sexual. Men were viewed to engage in sexual intercourse if given a face to face meeting following emotional online infidelity more than women. Results suggested infidelity via internet is real and just as devastating as an offline affair. The outcomes included hurting the offended partner, loss of trust, and divorce.


Henline, B., Lamke, L., & Howard, M. (2007). Exploring perceptions of online infidelity. Personal Relationships, 14(1), 113–128.

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