marriage, media, time use, technology, television, social networking websites, video games


This study used the Actor Partner Interdependence Model and a national sample of married couples (N = 1368) to explore the relationship between entertainment media use and marital satisfaction, conflict, and perceived marital instability. Entertainment media-use included newer types of media (e.g., social networking websites) as well as traditional media (e.g., television). A number of negative relationships between media use and wives’ and husbands’ marital quality emerged. Husbands’ use of social networking websites, in particular, was associated with many of the marital quality variables. The effect sizes of media use were small, however. We also explored whether the relationship worked in reverse and whether media use differences between the spouses would relate to marital quality. When spouses reported different levels of using video games, they also reported lower levels of marital quality. The findings suggest that as media technology continues to change, it may relate to marital quality in new ways.

Original Publication Citation

Dew, J. P., & Tulane, S.* (2015). The association between time spent using entertainment media and marital quality in a contemporary national sample. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 36, 621–632.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family and Economic Issues




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor