Mirkka Danielsbacka

Mirkka Danielsbacka

MEETING ONLINE AND FAMILY-RELATED OUTCOMES
Mirkka Danielsbacka


In recent years, the Internet has become an increasingly important venue for meeting partners. While meeting online may have a range of effects on family-related outcomes, studies on the link between meeting online and family-related outcomes are scarce. Using eight follow-up waves of the German Family Panel (pairfam), with observations from 8177 persons from three birth cohorts between 2009 and 2016, this study investigates whether meeting online is associated with relationship satisfaction, intention to separate, separation, moving in together, intentions to have a child, and entry into parenthood. More specifically, a series of between-person regressions are used to compare those who met their partners offline and those who met their partners online. Results show that meeting online is associated with likelihood to separate and intentions to have a child in the youngest birth cohort, and transition to parenthood in the oldest birth cohort. These findings are discussed with the concepts of selectivity and intentionality in searching for and meeting partners online.