Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber


Despite the widespread and increasing use and popularity of text messaging since the mid 1990's, the extent of the psychological literature regarding this technology is scarce. Chief amongst these underexplored areas is the relationship that text messaging, as a mode of Nonverbal Asynchronous Communication, has with Verbal Synchronous Communication abilities. For this study, these abilities have been operationalized as social anxiety, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and attentional control. The available research implies a relationship between these concepts. Despite mostly theoretical links in the literature, no study had attempted to measure many of these relationships empirically. This study examined the relationship between text messaging, social anxiety, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and attentional control, and explored the nature of these relationships. Participants responded to scales measuring self-perception of text message dependency, problem use of text messaging, and the variables operationalizing Verbal Synchronous Communication abilities. Results of the study show that many of these factors do correlate with dysfunctional text messaging. Implications of these findings, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are discussed.