The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Trimble, Joseph E.

Second Advisor

Karlberg, Michael Robert, 1966-

Third Advisor

Manago, Adriana


Friends are sources of social support and are often observed interacting in public settings while using their mobile phones. Four types of mobile phone use were predicted: distraction, distraction multitasking, facilitation, and facilitation multitasking. These types of mobile phone use were predicted to be influenced by communication technology use, values, and friendship quality. Furthermore, these phone use types were predicted to influence the quality of a friendship interaction. An observational paradigm was used to observe mobile phone use behaviors in friendship interactions. Participants were recruited in friendship dyads and completed communication technology, values, and friendship quality questionnaires before visiting the laboratory. Friends attended the appointment together and were shown to a waiting room area where they were left alone for five minutes, and their interaction was videotaped. Following the interaction, friends completed an interaction quality questionnaire. Analyses were conducted in HLM to account for nonindependence in the dyadic data. Neither communication technology use, values, nor friendship quality had an influence on the types of phone use. An actor-partner interaction model tested the influence of phone use on interaction quality. Each actor’s interaction quality was predicted from their own friendship quality and the four types of mobile phone use and from their partner’s friendship quality and the partner’s four types of phone use. The actor’s friendship quality increased interaction quality. The partner’s distraction decreased interaction quality and the actor’s distraction multitasking increased interaction quality. These results extend previous research on multitasking and suggest new understandings of social snacking and customized sociality.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Cell phones--Social aspects; Wireless communication systems--Social aspects; Interpersonal communication--Technological innovations--Social aspects; Social interaction--Technological innovations




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.