Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

T. Evan Smith


Previous research highlights long-distance relationships’ negative impact on academic adjustment, social life, and personal-emotional well-being for individuals in college. This study examined the impact of long-distance relationships on college adjustment, specifically in the first year of college. The concept of societal location—whether one’s partner also attended a traditional 4-year institution or not—and its impacts on college adjustment and relationship satisfaction were also investigated. Through an online survey sent to first-year students, 77 participants completed the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Of these participants, 33 were in a long-distance relationship and completed the Couples Satisfaction Index. During Time I, the hypothesized negative effects of long-distance relationships on college adjustment were not supported (p = .49). Partners’ societal location also had no significant effect on college adjustment or relationship satisfaction (p = .40). During Time II, relationship type had a significant effect on college adjustment (p = .01). The hypothesized negative effects of staying together with long-distance partners were not supported (p = .20). With the current sample, relationship satisfaction significantly decreased from the fall semester to the spring semester for individuals who remained in their long-distance relationships (p = .01). As there is no research on societal location, this factor should be further examined in additional studies. The primary limitation of this study involved the short time frame and the sample’s homogeneity. Additional results and conclusions are discussed.


Senior thesis.

Included in

Psychology Commons