Extant Facebook research focuses on how Facebook users develop and maintain relationships, while largely neglecting to identify specific communicative behaviors used to develop and maintain relationships through Facebook. Expressions of affection are, in part, used to maintain and develop relationships. Therefore, the purpose of this study was twofold. First, this study examined how college students express affection for their close friends through Facebook and identified sex differences in the amount of expressed affection and the perceived appropriateness of expressed affection through Facebook. Second, this study examined the extent to which trait affection given is related to the amount of expressed affection and the perceived appropriateness of expressed affection through Facebook. Undergraduate students identified and confirmed 29 types of expressed affection through Facebook and completed a battery of questionnaires. The results support prior affectionate communication research conducted in face-to-face contexts indicating that women are more likely to express affection and perceive expressions of affection through Facebook as more appropriate than men.
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