media use, technology use, couple relationships, relationship quality, depression


Technology use has proliferated in family life; everyday intrusions and interruptions due to technology devices, which we term “technoference,” will likely occur. We examine the frequency of technoference in romantic relationships and whether these everyday interruptions relate to women’s personal and relational well-being. Participants were 143 married/cohabiting women who completed an online questionnaire. The majority perceived that technology devices (such as computers, cell or smartphones, or TV) frequently interrupted their interactions, such as couple leisure time, conversations, and mealtimes, with their partners. Overall, participants who rated more technoference in their relationships also reported more conflict over technology use, lower relationship satisfaction, more depressive symptoms, and lower life satisfaction. We tested a structural equation model of technoference predicting conflict over technology use, which then predicted relationship satisfaction, which finally predicted depression and life satisfaction. By allowing technology to interfere with or interrupt conversations, activities, and time with romantic partners—even when unintentional or for brief moments—individuals may be sending implicit messages about what they value most, leading to conflict and negative outcomes in personal life and relationships.

Original Publication Citation

McDaniel, B. T. & Coyne, S. M. (2016). “Technoference”: The interference of technology in couple relationships and implications for women’s personal and relational well-being. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5, 85-98.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Psychology of Popular Media Culture




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor