Preferred Name

Angela Pezzella

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Lennis G. Echterling

A. Renee Staton

Anne L. Stewart


This study aims to conceptualize the way individuals, more notably college students and emerging adults, use their smartphones, applying an attachment framework. Recently, research has shifted from using vocabulary akin to addiction, and researchers are beginning to see similarities and consistencies in how individuals relate to their phones and how attachment was originally conceptualized in the infant-mother relationship. Moreover, research is moving away from considering attachment as categorical, and is instead considering it continuous, and as varying in domains from individual to individual. This research used a new assessment tool (the YAPS) to assess college students’ attachment to phones, their important relationship attachments (ECR-RS) and their perceived relationship quality (PRQC). Research found that though many important relationship domains, notably parents, were related to smartphone attachment; however, there was no relationship between smartphone attachment and perceived relationship quality or its constructs. Future research should aim to validate the biological attachment between humans and smartphones, as well as tease out any impact smartphones and our attachments to them may have on relationships and our perception and threshold of intimacy.