Recent surveys on adolescent romantic relationships challenge the misconception that romantic relationships among adolescents are trivial and transitory. In fact, the formation and maintenance of romantic relationships are an important developmental task during adolescence. As adolescents grow older and move into young adulthood, romantic relationships become increasingly central to them. Further, romantic relationships have important consequences on adolescents'and young adults'health and well-being. Despite the importance of romantic relationships in adolescence and young adulthood, there is limited research on this topic and many critical questions remain unanswered. The goal of this project is to study romantic relationship development from adolescence to young adulthood and its antecedents and consequences.
The specific aims of this project are to evaluate 1) the continuity and change in behaviors in romantic relationships from adolescence to young adulthood;2) the impact of family of origin on romantic relationship behaviors;and 3) the longer-term consequences of earlier romantic relationship behaviors for later relationships and psychological functioning in young adulthood. To address these issues, we will conduct secondary data analyses using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). This project will provide much needed information for understanding romantic relationship development from adolescence and young adulthood. It will also identify influential antecedents and consequences of such relationships. In addition, it will take advantage of the well-established Add Health data to improve on the small number of previous studies in this area in terms of methodology. First, Add Health used a prospective longitudinal design. Second, Add Health used multiple informant reports. Finally, Add Health used a large, diverse, and representative sample. Overall, Add Health is an ideal dataset that provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the above specific aims. In addition to the advantages of the dataset, sophisticated statistical methods, including growth curve modeling and dyadic modeling, will be used. Because of the methodological innovation, findings from this project will make important contributions to the current literature. The PI has the appropriate training, background, and experience to conduct this work. She has a Masters degree in Statistics, a Ph.D. degree in Sociology majoring in family and child development, years of research experience with longitudinal projects, and had published several articles in premier journals. The Co-I is an internationally recognized psychologist with expertise on romantic relationships who will provide the PI with the necessary empirical and theoretical perspectives to successfully carry out this project. The consultant brings to the project valuable expertise on both romantic relationships and the methodological issues that could complement the PI's abilities in these areas. Collectively and with the full support from the Florida State University, this team of researchers is well equipped to successfully complete the proposed work.
Despite the importance of romantic relationship development on adolescents'and young adults'health and well-being, there is limited research on this topic and many critical questions remain unanswered. The overall goal of this project is to document change and continuity in romantic relationship development from adolescence to young adulthood and to identify influential antecedents and consequences of these relationships.
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