, Volume 38, Issue 10, pp 1294-1303,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 18 Dec 2008

The Developmental Significance of Adolescent Romantic Relationships: Parent and Peer Predictors of Engagement and Quality at Age 15

Abstract

From a longitudinal sample (n = 957; 49.9% male; 77.3% White/non-Hispanic) of participants studied from infancy through age 15, adolescents’ depth of engagement in, and quality of romantic relationships were predicted from early and contemporaneous parent–child interactive quality and peer social competence. High quality maternal parenting and peer experiences prior to and during adolescence tended to be negatively associated with the depth of engagement in this domain for the full sample, yet positively associated with the quality of adolescents’ romantic relationships for the sub-set of individuals currently dating at age 15. Results reconcile contrasting views of the origins of romantic relationship engagement and quality and the positive versus negative developmental salience of romantic relationships in adolescence.