Romantic relationship patterns in young adulthood and their developmental antecedents.

Published

Journal Article

The delayed entry into marriage that characterizes modern society raises questions about young adults' romantic relationship trajectories and whether patterns found to characterize adolescent romantic relationships persist into young adulthood. The current study traced developmental transitions into and out of romantic relationships from age 18 through age 25 in a sample of 511 young adults. The developmental antecedents of these different romantic relationship experiences in both distal and proximal family and peer domains were also examined. Analyses included both person-oriented and variable-oriented approaches. Findings show 5 distinct clusters varying in timing, duration, and frequency of participation in romantic relationships that range from those who had only recently entered into a romantic relationship to those who had been in the same relationship from age 18 to age 25. These relationship outcome trajectory clusters were predicted by variations in competence in early relationships with family and peers. Interpersonal experiences in family and peer contexts in early childhood through adolescence thus may form a scaffold on which later competence in romantic relationships develops. Findings shed light on both normative and nonnormative developmental transitions of romantic relationships in young adulthood.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rauer, AJ; Pettit, GS; Lansford, JE; Bates, JE; Dodge, KA

Published Date

  • November 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2159 - 2171

PubMed ID

  • 23421803

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23421803

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/a0031845

Language

  • eng