Date of Award:

2004

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

D. Kim Openshaw

Abstract

A vast majority of individuals involve themselves in an intimate relationship at one time or another. This studly looks at a new, but increasing, forum of relationship development, that of the Internet. More specifically, this study addresses various stages of Internet relationship development, and deception individual 's use during the process of forming and maintaining these relationships.

This research gathered quantitative and qualitative information from 134 individuals involved in online relationships. The quantitative analyses provided only a few significant findings and it is suggested that the current methods of measuring deception are inadequate and do not appear to represent the types of deception that may be employed by those developing relationships on the Internet. The qualitative findings indicate that over half the people in this study report using deception in their Internet relationships and there appear to be different motivations for doing so.

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