A Dyadic Examination of Interpersonal Electronic Surveillance

Dana M. Litt, Lindsey M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interpersonal electronic surveillance (IES) refers to monitoring a partner's location, conversations, and other private information such as search history. Although IES has been linked to relationship functioning, this work does not take into account the dyadic nature of relationships using data from both members of a dating pair. Thus, this study aimed to document rates and concordance of IES perpetration among a college sample of dating pairs, explore whether rates of IES perpetration differ by gender, and describe how each partner's IES perpetration is associated with trust, jealousy, negative relationship behaviors, and explore whether any associations are moderated by gender. A total of 136 couples (age 18-25 years) participated in a study wherein each member of the couple reported IES perpetration, trust, jealousy, and negative relationship behaviors. Results indicated that 44 percent of the sample presented with either one or both partners engaging in IES perpetration. Furthermore, results of actor-partner interdependence models indicated that there were significant actor effects for all outcomes such that one's own IES perpetration was related to lower trust in the partner, higher jealousy, and engagement in more negative partners toward the partner. However, no significant partner effects emerged. Results further indicated that actor effects were present for women, but not men. Overall, results of this study indicate that dyadic examinations of IES perpetration may shed light into the ways that couples use technology and that future research is warranted to determine how to prevent IES perpetration and ultimately potential relationship consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • actor-partner interdependence models
  • dyads
  • interpersonal electronic surveillance
  • relationships


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