Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Applied Clinical Project (ACP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Pei-Fen Li

Committee Member

Christopher Burnett

Abstract

Social media is commonly used in current society. It's convenient and fast-speed nature without the limitations of time and space makes it widespread and popular in people's daily life. People use social media for various purposes, such as communicating and staying in contact with friends, family and colleagues and even for the enhancement and satisfaction of romantic relationships (Cole et al., 2018; Seidman et al., 2019; Krueger & Forest, 2020). The Millennials even use social media as a normal platform to engage, develop, display and maintain their romantic relationships. However, social media also has negative effects on romantic relationships, such as online infidelity. The experience of online infidelity is just as distressing and damaging to relationships as face-to-face or offline infidelity. However, there is a lack of validated treatmentapproaches for the effectiveness of online infidelity, as current interventions and treatment models simply focus on treating offline infidelity. Furthermore, interventions found for treating online infidelity can be used as a guide for clinicians. This Applied Clinical Project critically evaluated and analyzed the existing research focused on treatment of online infidelity through a Natural Systems Lens. Recommendations, limitations of the study and suggestions for future research were indicated for treatment of online infidelity.

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