Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction: Self-esteem and marital status as moderators

  • Xingchao Wang
  • Fengqing Zhao
  • Li LeiEmail author


The current study investigated the moderating effects of self-esteem and marital status on the association between partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction. Four hundred and twenty-nine Chinese adults completed the measures of partner phubbing, relationship satisfaction, self-esteem, and marital status. The findings revealed that partner phubbing was not significantly associated with relationship satisfaction. However, self-esteem moderated the association between partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction. More specifically, for high self-esteem adults, partner phubbing was significantly associated with relationship satisfaction. In contrast, for adults with low levels of self-esteem, this association became nonsignificant. The association between partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction was also moderated by marital status, which showed that the significant relation between partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction only existed among married adults.


Partner phubbing Relationship satisfaction Self-esteem Marital status 



The present study was supported by the Key Research Institute in Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University) (14JJD190005).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interests

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Educational ScienceShanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina
  2. 2.School of EducationZhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.The Center of Internet + Social Psychology, Department of PsychologyRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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