A total of eleven studies were found that examined the characteristics of use or motivations of online dating use

A total of eleven studies were found that examined the characteristics of use or motivations of online dating use

However, the authors did not consider the participants’ goals for using online dating, and arguably, depending on users’ goals, expectations may differ

This section has been divided into six subsections which cover: (i) usage and motivation, (ii) personality correlates, (iii) negative correlates, (iv) impulsive behaviour, (v) substance use and behavioural addictions, and (vi) problematic use of online dating. Across the subsections, the focus is on the main findings of each study and, when applicable, how these findings relate to overuse/problematic attributes.

Usage and Motivations

Out of the eleven studies, there were ten quantitative studies, all of which were cross-sectional (Corriero and Tong 2016; Gunter 2008; Hance et al. 2018; Houran and Lange 2004; Hwang 2013; Kim et al. 2009; Menkin et al. 2015; Paul 2014; Stinson and Jeske 2016; Valkenburg and Peter 2007), and one qualitative study (Lawson and Leck 2006). One study examined heterosexual respondents only (Hwang 2013), and another study focused on male homosexual populations only (Corriero and Tong 2016), and the remaining studies did not differentiate between sexual orientations.

Before the proliferation of online dating platforms and s) collected 3844 responses (67% female) from the British population in an online survey available on the website of a research agency that asked questions regarding motivations and users’ satisfaction with the online dating service. All age groups were represented evenly: 16–24 years (11%) https://hookupdate.net/es/just-cougars-review/, 25–34 years (31%), 35–44 years (27%), 45–54 years (20%) and 55+ years (11%). Results showed that 29% had used online dating sites and 90% of these users had spent up to ?200 over the previous two years using online dating services (Gunter 2008). These results were supported by another study (Valkenburg and Peter 2007) with 367 single respondents (50% females) from the Netherlands. They were asked to complete an online survey that contained a subscale on active intentions from the Dating Anxiety Survey (Calvert et al. 1987). Findings showed that almost half of the respondents (43%) had used the internet to date potential partners. Both studies found differences in terms of use by gender, where men were found to be more likely (40%) to have used online dating services than women (24%) (Gunter 2008). However, there was no difference regarding income or education. Furthermore, in relation to age, it appeared that adults aged between 30 and 50 years were the most active users. In addition to the socio-demographic pattern of use, Hwang (2013) collected data from 2123 heterosexual users’ profiles on an American online dating site in Los Angeles and compared the willingness to date between different racial groups (e.g. Asians and Latinos) and within the same group (i.e. whites with whites). In order to do this, demographic measures (i.e. age, gender, marital status, educational level and zip code of residence) were taken; also willingness to date inter- and intra-racially was registered; however, the authors did not specify how they measured that variable (willingness to date inter- and intra-racially). Generally, dating online intra-racially was favoured over inter-racial dating. However, men were found to be higher in willingness to date inter-racially in comparison to women. Nonetheless, considering the specificity of the sample, these results cannot be extrapolated to the general population. Further studies should consider including variability in terms of sexual orientations and cultural background to see if these findings can be replicated.

Considering the expectations of use in terms of finding a perfect partner, Houran and Lange (2004) studied a sample of 222 non-married participants from a paid survey panel (mean age = years) and reported that online dating users did not hold unrealistic expectations (i.e. positive distortions towards finding the perfect match). Taken together, the previous four studies indicate that young adult men are the most active online dating users tending to date intra-racially. However, three of these studies (i.e. Gunter 2008; Houran and Lange 2004; Valkenburg and Peter 2007) were carried out before the launch of smartphone dating apps, the appearance of which could have resulted in different findings.

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