Having the Time of Their Life: College Student Stress, Dating and Satisfaction with Life

Stress Health. 2016 Feb;32(1):28-35. doi: 10.1002/smi.2575. Epub 2014 Apr 11.


A cross-sectional design based on the family ecosystem framework was used to examine how students' time spent engaging in social interactions and personal behaviours was related to dating, stress and satisfaction with life. The data were extracted from the Parental Indulgence of Emerging Adults study and consisted of 534 students at a southeastern university. The findings indicated that the amount of time involved in non-verbal social interactions, such as texting and social networking, along with solitary activities, such as watching TV and studying, was negatively related to students' life satisfaction. In comparison, being in a relationship and talking to people on the phone were positively related to students' life satisfaction. These results have implications for family and health professionals along with university wellness centres that facilitate student health by incorporating preventative measures to help students deal with their stress.

Keywords: college student stress; life satisfaction; relationships technology use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult