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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



The purpose of the study is to develop and evaluate a measure of attributions about partner online behavior.


The attributions that intimate partners make for one another's actions foreshadow deterioration in relationship satisfaction. Although online communication is now pervasive, tools for assessing the attributions partners make for online behavior (e.g., why a partner hasn't responded to a text message) are not yet available.


College students (Sample 1) and individuals recruited via Qualtrics panels (Sample 2) completed an online survey assessing attributions, relationship satisfaction, attachment anxiety, jealousy, and depression.


The Relationship Attribution Measure–Online Behavior (RAM-OB) is internally consistent, unifactorial, and reasonably stable. Maladaptive attributions (i.e., internal, stable, and global explanations for negative behavior) are negatively correlated with relationship satisfaction and positively correlated with attachment anxiety, jealousy, and depression (Study 1). Further, we demonstrate that maladaptive attributions covary with lower levels of relationship satisfaction even after controlling for anxious attachment, jealousy, and depression, and that the relationship between attributions and satisfaction is stronger for women and for people living with lower incomes (Study 2).


The RAM-OB is a reliable and valid measure of the attributions partners make about online behavior.


The availability of the RAM-OB may create new opportunities for understanding the role of technology and media-related behaviors in intimate relationships.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sullivan, K. T., Sullivan, A. F., & Bradbury, T. N. (n.d.). A psychometric analysis of the Relationship Attribution Measure–Online Behavior. Family Relations, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Available for download on Friday, February 14, 2025