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Teen Dating Relationships: How Daily Disagreements are Associated with Relationship Satisfaction

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Abstract

Being in a satisfying romantic relationship in adolescence is associated to many short- and long-term benefits. However, more research is needed to better understand what promotes relationship satisfaction in adolescence. To address this gap, this study used a diary approach to examine the relation between disagreements and daily variations in adolescent romantic relationship satisfaction. A sample of 186 adolescents was recruited (Mage = 17.08 years, SD = 1.48; 56% female). Multilevel modeling was used to evaluate how disagreement occurrences, resolution, and resolution strategies were related to daily perceived relationship satisfaction at both the between- and within-subjects levels. At the within-subjects level, satisfaction was lower on days when a disagreement occurred, especially for girls. Adolescents also reported lower relationship satisfaction on days when they used more destructive strategies than usual, and higher relationship satisfaction on days when they successfully resolved disagreements. This study demonstrates that adolescents’ evaluations of their daily relationship satisfaction vary as function of disagreement processes.

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Funding

This study was accomplished with funding by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC; 430-2018-00771) awarded to A.P.

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This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.

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Authors

Contributions

E.H.T. contributed to the conception of the study and the design, participated in the data collection, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript; A.P. contributed to the conception and design of the study, supervised data collection, material preparation and data analysis, and helped draft the manuscript; N.G. participated in the data analysis and contributed to writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Alison Paradis.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study has been approved by the Université du Québec à Montréal’s institutional ethics committee for research with human subjects (Comité institutional d’éthique de la recherche avec des êtres humains); certificate # 1770_e_2018; file #592.

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Informed consent was obtained through signed consent forms. Participants were solely identifiable by an assigned identification code.

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Todorov, EH., Paradis, A. & Godbout, N. Teen Dating Relationships: How Daily Disagreements are Associated with Relationship Satisfaction. J Youth Adolescence 50, 1510–1520 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01371-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01371-2

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