Interpersonal Media and Face-to-Face Communication: Relationship with Life Satisfaction and Loneliness

Jeffrey A. Hall, Jess Dominguez, Teodora Mihailova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Framed by need to belong theory, this study considers the role of communication modality, geographic proximity, and the number of close relationship partners to predict life satisfaction and loneliness. A quota sample of American adults (N = 1,869) completed four name generation tasks to identify up to 16 alters, resulting in four alters per participant (n = 7,471). Participants reported the frequency with which they communicated with each alter in the past year in person and through eight interpersonal media. Results suggest that number of relationship partners and frequency of face-to-face interaction were robust predictors of life satisfaction and loneliness. Those living alone faced significant threats to well-being. Video chat and voice call frequency were also associated with greater life satisfaction. Mediation analyses showed voice call frequency was indirectly associated with less loneliness through greater relationship maintenance satisfaction, while lean media was indirectly associated with greater loneliness through relationship maintenance frustration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-350
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • interpersonal media
  • life satisfaction
  • loneliness
  • need to belong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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