Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Campbell, Lorne J.


Two studies examined ghosting, a unilateral breakup strategy that involves avoiding technologically-mediated contact with a partner instead of providing a verbal indication of the desire to break up. Study 1 solicited open-ended responses regarding experiences with ghosting and explored associations between ghosting and a variety of dispositional and situational variables. Study 2 investigated differences in the process of relationship dissolution and post-breakup outcomes as a function of breakup role (disengager or recipient) and breakup strategy (ghosting or direct conversation) across two samples. Recipients experienced greater distress and negative affect than disengagers, and ghosting disengagers reported the least amount of distress. Ghosting breakups were characterized by greater use of avoidance/withdrawal and distant/mediated communication tactics and less open confrontation and positive tone/self-blame tactics. Distinct differences between ghosting and direct conversation strategies suggest developments in technology have influenced traditional processes of relationship dissolution.