Lithuanians' attitudes toward Internet infidelity and its correlates

Date

2009-12

Authors

Suliakaite, Alge

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Abstract

This study sought to explore Lithuanians' attitudes and perceptions toward Internet infidelity and investigate whether interpersonal and intrapersonal factors were associated with the attitudes toward online affairs. The researcher was unable to locate studies in Lithuania that made reference to Internet infidelity. This study was exploratory in nature in order to draw public and researchers' attention to the understudied Internet infidelity phenomenon.

The participants for this study were recruited using a convenience sampling technique. A sample of 251 participants completed measures of attitudes toward Internet infidelity, religiosity and self-differentiation. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

The findings of this study indicated Lithuanians' tendency to engage in different online behaviors. The exploration of the attitudes toward potentially unfaithful online activities suggested that Lithuanians consider Internet infidelity to be a serious form of betrayal. The results showed that Internet infidelity exists on a behavioral continuum where some online acts were considered more unfaithful than others based on the level of partners' involvement in secretive online behaviors.

Online behaviors that implied initiation of online relationships and engagement into intimate relationships were considered to be most unfaithful. Online acts that indicated superficial and non-intimate communication were considered as least unfaithful. Attitudes toward Internet infidelity were related to several factors in this study, namely, gender, religiosity, prior infidelity, and the level of self-differentiation. The findings indicated that age and online relationship experiences were not related to the attitudes toward Internet infidelity.

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Keywords

Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Infidelity, Internet, Lithuanians, Online

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