Author: Society for Research in Child Development
Published: 21st Aug 2015 - Updated: 9th Feb 2016
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: LGBT Adolescents Publications
Summary: Higher-quality romantic relationships are associated with fewer psychosocial difficulties across adolescence and young adulthood.
Adolescents who have romantic relationships tend to have more problems with psychosocial adjustment. In contrast, young adults who have romantic relationships tend to have fewer problems with psychosocial adjustment. Although the links between having a romantic relationship and psychosocial adjustment change with age, a new longitudinal study has found that it's not just having a relationship that matters, but the quality of the relationship: Higher-quality romantic relationships are associated with fewer psychosocial difficulties across adolescence and young adulthood.
The study, conducted at the University of Denver, appears in the journal Child Development.
The authors sought to understand if all adolescent romantic relationships are equally risky and if all young adult romantic relationships are equally protective. They were particularly interested in learning when in youth's development the quality of a romantic relationship begins to be protective.
As part of the study, 100 male and 100 female tenth graders from predominantly middle- to upper-middle class neighborhoods and a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds completed questionnaires for nine years. They were asked about their romantic relationships and psychosocial functioning, including internationalizing symptoms (e.g., anxiety, depression, social withdrawal), externalizing symptoms (e.g., aggression, delinquent behavior, impulsivity), alcohol and drug use, and dating satisfaction. The researchers examined how support in the romantic relationship (e.g., being available for the other when needed, providing companionship, encouraging the other), conflict, and individuals' perceived satisfaction with the relationship were related to those indices of psychosocial adjustment. They also looked at how the ties between qualities of romantic relationships and youth's psychosocial adjustment changed as the youth grew into young adults.
"We found that relationships that were more supportive and satisfying, and those that had fewer negative interactions were associated with better psychosocial adjustment, above and beyond the effects of simply being in a relationship," according to Charlene Collibee, a doctoral student at the University of Denver, who coauthored the study. "Therefore, it's not just having a romantic relationship that's linked to psychosocial functioning, but the nature of that relationship."
The study also found that the links between the aspects of romantic relationships and internalizing symptoms as well as dating satisfaction strengthened as adolescents transitioned to young adulthood. "These findings are consistent with the idea that developing intimate romantic relationships is an important goal, and the significance of this goal increases as adolescents mature into young adults," Collibee added. While the characteristics of romantic relationships were also associated with externalizing symptoms and substance use, these associations were consistent across development rather than increasing in strength with age.
"Our findings highlight the importance of romantic characteristics across development, and tell us that we should be concerned not just with whether an adolescent or young adult has a romantic relationship, but also with the quality of that relationship," notes Wyndol Furman, John Evans Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver, the study's other coauthor. "They also suggest that promoting high-quality romantic relationships in adolescence, and especially young adulthood, may foster more positive psychosocial development." Indeed, findings underscore that researchers, care providers, and parents should recognize that romantic relationships are not all the same, and that the quality of the relationship is key. Furthermore, adolescents and young adults themselves should be encouraged to consider whether they are in supportive and satisfying relationships, because they are a central part of most lives and may have important consequences for health and well-being.
|Latest LGBT Adolescents Publications|
The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to LGBT Adolescents that includes:
|For LGBTQ Youth Parental Support is Important|
A new study looks at parental social support and psychological control of depressive symptoms for LGBTQ youth in the United States.
Publish Date: 6th Mar 2023
|Gender Dysphoria Rising in Youth - So is Professional Disagreement|
More adolescents with no history of gender dysphoria are presenting at gender clinics, especially in the US.
Publish Date: 24th Feb 2023
|10% of Minors Seeking Abortion Must Pursue Court Approval, Many Are Denied|
U.S. states, including Colorado that have not banned abortion still do require those under age 18 to involve their parents before terminating a pregnancy.
Publish Date: 21st Jan 2023
|LGBTQ Youth in Juvenile Correctional Facilities at High Risk for Suicide and Self-Harm|
A new study finds that LGBTQ youth are disproportionally represented in juvenile correctional facilities.
Publish Date: 29th Nov 2022 - Updated: 30th Nov 2022
1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.
2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.
3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.
4Glossary of Gender Terms
Definitions of gender related terms.
5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?
• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.
• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.
• (APA): Society for Research in Child Development. (2015, August 21). Adolescent Romantic Relationships - Quality Counts. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved November 29, 2023 from www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/adolescent/473.php
• Permalink: <a href="https://www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/adolescent/473.php">Adolescent Romantic Relationships - Quality Counts</a>