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115. Relationships Between Jealousy in Intimate Partnerships and the Use of Snapchat

Mariem Laaraj, Cody Andrus, Ellie Begin, Dr. Mary Pritchard

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Is Snapchat Bad for Relationships?


As technology has continued to evolve, so too have social media apps. Young adults are now adopting a newer media called Snapchat. Snapchat had over 300 million users in 2017. Out of those 300 million users, 45% were aged between 18-24 years old (Yockeyet al., 2019). Snapchat allows its users to send texts, videos, and images with a specified amount of time selected by the sender (between one and ten seconds). Snapchat’s private nature can have negative consequences on romantic relationships. The app’s facility in connecting individuals through direct texts, photos, and videos has aided the development of jealousy within intimate partnerships.


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between partner spying and mate-guarding using Snapchat, and the effect it has on their relationship.A large number of people use Snapchat daily, making it an important source of communication and entertainment (Iqbal, 2019). Due to the increased usage of Snapchat and the features it allows its users to access, the social media platform can influence couples’ fidelity and overall trust (Iqbal, 2019).


I hypothesize that:

  1. those who report more spying on their partner are more likely to mate-guard on Snapchat
  2. those who report more mate guarding and/or spying will be more likely to report that they fear their partner will leave.
  3. those who report more mate guarding and/or spying will be more likely to report increased levels of Snapchat-related relationship conflict.


The study consisted of one hundred thirty-four participants (99 women, 35 men) that completed an online survey through the survey software platform Qualtrics. Participants responded to the Instagram-Related Conflict Scale (Ridgway & Clayton, 2016) to assess their rate of arguments and jealousy within their relationships and the Facebook Jealousy Scale (Muise, Christofides, & Desmarais, 2009), modified for use with Snapchat, to assess the level of jealousy between intimate partners.

1. spyingSnapchat1----
3. MateGuardingSnapchat.538**.765**1
4. SnapchatRelatedConflict.421**.451**.530**


Correlations among all variables are reported in Table 1. As hypothesized, we found that those who reported more spying were also more likely to report mate-guarding on Snapchat (see Table 1). In addition, those who reported more mate guarding were also more likely to report that they feared their partner leaving. Those who reported more spying also feared their partner would leave. Finally, those who reported more mate guarding reported increased levels of Snapchat-related relationship conflict. In addition, those who reported spying also reported increased levels of Snapchat-related relationship conflict (see Table 1).


Upon examining the results in our study, I believe Snapchat to be a factor in instigating conflict in intimate relationships. Individuals use the social media app to closely monitor their partner’s activities and mate-guard, which further increases Snapchat-related conflict. I encourage partners to discuss downloading Snapchat and to talk about potential issues that may arise from using the app. Couples can create limitations to what each partner can do on the app, such as adding a previous lover as a friend, and the type of content they post. Partaking in this dialogue amongst each other will allow partners to share their beliefs regarding the app and whether it is in the best interest of their relationship to download it.

Additional Information

For questions or comments about this research, contact at Mariem Laaraj at