Romantic relationships are central in adolescents' social life and emotional experiences. Such relationships have important implications for socio-emotional adjustment and health. Surprisingly little work, however, has been done on middle adolescents' romantic relationships. A behavioral systems conceptualization is proposed in which it is hypothesized that these relationships develop over time into adult-form love relationships which involve the attachment, caregiving, affiliative and sexual systems. Experiences in parent-child, peer, and romantic relationships are expected to lead to individual differences in romantic views. These romantic views entail both conscious styles and unconscious working models of romantic relationships. Views are expected to be strongly related to relational quality, but only moderately related to dating history. A core sample of 147 high school seniors complete questionnaires about romantic styles, dating history, sexual behavior, social skills, and values/norms; additionally, they are interviewed about their romantic working models. Study A examines the hypothesized pattern of relations among these different facets of romantic relationships. Study B examines the pattern of relations among romantic styles, working models, and patterns of interactions. Specifically, 84 members of the core sample and their romantic partners complete questionnaires, are interviewed about romantic working models, and are observed interacting in 3 situations. Finally, in Study C, 84 members of the core sample complete additional attachment interviews about their relationships with parents and friends so that we can examine the links among working models and styles for relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners. The findings should have important implications for understanding adolescents' romantic and sexual behavior and the mental and physical health problems associated with them.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Child/Adolescent Risk and Prevention Review Committee (CAPR)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Denver
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Collibee, Charlene; Furman, Wyndol (2016) Chronic and Acute Relational Risk Factors for Dating Aggression in Adolescence and Young Adulthood. J Youth Adolesc 45:763-76
Golden, Rachel Lynn; Furman, Wyndol; Collibee, Charlene (2016) The risks and rewards of sexual debut. Dev Psychol 52:1913-1925
Collibee, Charlene; Furman, Wyndol (2016) The Relationship Context for Sexual Activity and its Associations with Romantic Cognitions among Emerging Adults. Emerg Adulthood 4:71-81
Novak, Jamie; Furman, Wyndol (2016) Partner Violence During Adolescence and Young Adulthood: Individual and Relationship Level Risk Factors. J Youth Adolesc 45:1849-61
Collibee, Charlene; Furman, Wyndol (2015) Quality Counts: Developmental Shifts in Associations Between Romantic Relationship Qualities and Psychosocial Adjustment. Child Dev 86:1639-52
Collibee, Charlene; Furman, Wyndol (2014) Impact of sexual coercion on romantic experiences of adolescents and young adults. Arch Sex Behav 43:1431-41
Furman, Wyndol; Stephenson, J Claire; Rhoades, Galena K (2014) Positive Interactions and Avoidant and Anxious Representations in Relationships with Parents, Friends, and Romantic Partners. J Res Adolesc 24:615-629
Furman, Wyndol; Collibee, Charlene (2014) A matter of timing: developmental theories of romantic involvement and psychosocial adjustment. Dev Psychopathol 26:1149-60
Branstetter, Steven A; Furman, Wyndol (2013) Buffering Effect of Parental Monitoring Knowledge and Parent-Adolescent Relationships on Consequences of Adolescent Substance Use. J Child Fam Stud 22:192-198
Young, Brennan J; Furman, Wyndol; Jones, Meredith C (2012) Changes in adolescents' risk factors following peer sexual coercion: evidence for a feedback loop. Dev Psychopathol 24:559-71

Showing the most recent 10 out of 18 publications