The Impact of Partner Phubbing on Marital Quality among Married Couples in Malaysia: Moderating Effect of Gender and Age


  • Sonia Khodabakhsh Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)
  • Yong Le Ong UCSI University


Palabras clave:

interpersonal communication, marital quality, partner phubbing, phubbing, relationship


Abstract. Smartphones and the internet have indeed revolutionized our lives in innumerable ways, among them the emergence of a social phenomenon called ‘phubbing.’ Phubbing is a portmanteau combining the words “phone” and “snubbing”. A person engaging in “phubbing” interacts obsessively with his/her phone rather than communicating with nearby people. Partner phubbing (Pphubbing) is defined as phubbing behaviour when in the presence of one’s spouse or significant other. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between Pphubbing and marital quality, and to investigate the moderating role of gender and age in this relationship. The participants in the survey were 390 married adults living in Kuala Lumpur. The respondents were selected randomly and volunteered to answer a series of questionnaires made up of the Partner Phubbing Scale, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and a section on demographic data. Results showed that Pphubbing behaviour has a significant negative relationship with marital quality. Moreover, gender and age were found to have significant moderating effects on the relationship between Pphubbing and marital quality. The reported impact of Pphubbing on marital quality was stronger among females than males, and the effects were also stronger among younger adults. These findings may have implications for family and couple counselling and for the coaching profession. Future research should be done to address this phenomenon more thoroughly. Keywords: interpersonal communication; marital quality; partner phubbing; phubbing; relationship