Too Much Texting Can Disconnect Couples

Couples shouldn’t let their thumbs do the talking when it comes to serious conversations, disagreements or apologies.

Brigham Young University researchers Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg studied 276 young adults around the country and found that being constantly connected through technology can create some disconnects in committed relationships.

Here are a few highlights from the report they published this week in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy:

  • For women: Using text messages to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality
  • For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship

“Technology is more important to relationship formation than it was previously,” said Schade, who earned her Ph.D. from BYU in August. “The way couples text is having an effect on the relationship as well.”

The study participants weren’t just casually dating — 38 percent said they were in a serious relationship, 46 percent were engaged and 16 percent were married. Each participant completed an extensive relationship assessment that included questions about their use of technology in the relationship.

Full story of texting and couples relationships at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

How much sex is considered exercise?

When I think of the ultimate sex workout, I picture the scene from “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie throw each other around their kitchen for an hour. Unfortunately, not every sexual experience is quite that… well, high-intensity. But how many calories do we really burn in the act?

The rumor: A bout of sexual activity can burn between 100 and 300 calories

We hear all the time that sex is a great workout, but what are the hard facts? How much sex is considered exercise? On a scale from fast asleep to Brangelina, where does the average sexual encounter lie on the calorie-burning scale?

The verdict: Sex burns a few calories, but frequent friskiness isn’t going to replace the gym

You may not be getting quite as good of a workout between the sheets as you think. According to a study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, sex lasts six minutes on average and only burns about 21 calories.

As an exercise physiologist and someone who even finds ways to burn calories while driving and working on my computer, I found this to be a very disappointing statistic. According to WebMD, 30 minutes of sex can burn in the neighborhood of 85 to 100 calories; if you feel like you have a pretty vigorous sex life, you’re probably on the higher end of that statistic.

Full story of burning calories during sex at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Studying Dating Abuse in the Internet Age

Non-physical abuse by a dating partner such as threats, controlling behavior and harassing text messages can have a serious effect on a teenager’s health and well-being, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

The study, which appears in the research journal BMC Public Health, is one of the first to examine the effects of both physical and non-physical dating abuse that is relevant to today’s highly connected adolescents.

While physical and sexual violence significantly affected the health and behavior of adolescents aged 13-19, non-physical abuse such as stalking through text messages or email also had a considerable effect, said Amy Bonomi, lead researcher on the study and chairperson and professor in MSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

“Often an argument in society is that abuse that is not physical or sexual really doesn’t matter,” Bonomi said. “Is it really harmful, for example, if I call my partner a bad name? Or if I’m harassing or stalking them with text messages? Well, we’ve shown that it does have a negative effect on health.”

Full story of internet dating abuse at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Older Adults Gauge Their Partner’s Feelings Through Knowing, Not Seeing

Compared to younger adults, older people are less adept at reading emotion in their spouse’s face. But when their spouse isn’t present, older and younger adults are equally able to discern their significant others’ moods.

These findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that older adults retain the ability to make accurate judgments about others’ emotions using their acquired knowledge, but not sensory cues.

“When judging others’ emotions in real life, people do not exclusively rely on emotional expressions,” says lead researcher Antje Rauers of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany. “Instead, they use additional information, such as accumulated knowledge about a given situation and a particular person.”

To investigate how these two processes vary with age, Rauers and colleagues Elisabeth Blanke and Michaela Riediger recruited 100 couples, some of whom were between the ages of 20 and 30 and some of whom were between the ages of 69 and 80. When they came to the lab, Rauer and colleagues first showed various faces to the participants, asking them to identify particular emotions.

Full story of gauging feelings through knowing at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Facebook Infidelity Examined in New Research

Thanks to a new study by Texas Tech University researchers, treating infidelity among couples may change due to the unique aspect of social networking sites, specifically Facebook.

Using data from Facebookcheating.com, researchers found that although the stages of coping with online infidelity are unique, the infidelity itself creates similar emotional experiences for the partner who was cheated on.

“This is very important because there is a line of thought that if the infidelity was discovered online, or confined to online activity, then it shouldn’t be as painful,” said Jaclyn Cravens, a doctoral candidate in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program and lead author of the study.

During her master’s program clinical work, Cravens discovered many of her clients’ relationship issues stemmed from online infidelity thanks to an increasing number of people using social media sites, especially Facebook.

“Facebook already has changed the dynamics of relationships,” Cravens said. “We see when our ‘friends’ are getting into a relationship. We say a relationship isn’t ‘official’ until it’s ‘Facebook-official.'”

Full story of facebook infidelity at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education