Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jason Hans


Little is known about the impact of distance on sexual expression and self-confidence in long-distance relationships, especially as mediated by technology. The purpose of the present study is to investigate how sexual expression and self-confidence vary in romantic relationships between those in long- versus short-distance relationships. Data from 327 participants—156 in long-distance relationships and 171 in short-distance relationships—were collected via Amazon MTurk. Results indicate that forms of technology-mediated sexual expression are widely used in long-distance relationships. Technology-mediated sexual expression is positively associated with sexual satisfaction in both long- and short-distance relationships; however, technology-mediated sexual expression was not statistically associated with self-confidence, and self-confidence was negatively predictive of self-uncertainty and partner uncertainty, and self-uncertainty and partner uncertainty was positively predictive of relational uncertainty. These results indicate that technology is an important tool that can be utilized for sexual expression in long-distance relationships, but the negative association of its use with self-confidence needs to be better understood.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This study was supported by the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment Richards Graduate Student Research Award and John I & Patricia J Buster Fellowship in 2020.