of research on early romantic relationships, the focus Research Foundation ( DFG) awarded to Ines Schindler. start to date or enter a committed romantic. Previous research has put forward different interpretations why starting a romantic relationship could increase problem behavior—or more. Two studies were conducted to examine the strategies used to initiate romantic relationships. In Study 1, participants responded to questions about general.
Thus, only a third of the sample was in a steady relationship at T2 Groups 5 and 6with most of those individuals being females. Males, minorities, and low-income adolescents were more likely to have had no relationship experience. Again, females were more likely to be in a committed relationship, as were individuals whose romantic and sexual experiences started earlier in adolescence.
Though being in a committed relationship in young adulthood may have been normative in previous cohorts Cherlin,these studies call into question how pervasive commitment is at this stage of development for the current young adult cohort, particularly for certain groups of young adults, and suggest the disparate patterns Meier and Allen found to characterize adolescence may persist into young adulthood.
In light of accumulating evidence of alternative pathways toward long-term commitment, conceptual frameworks that accommodate diversity in romantic relationship experiences could prove useful. Arnett's theory of emerging adulthood offers such a framework, predicting continuing diversity in romantic experiences and a delaying of commitment well into the 20s.
In this theory, the period from 18 to 25 is a time of exploration and instability, more characterized by a self-focus than a focus on establishing a lasting connection with someone else.
Thus, we would expect multiple romantic relationship sequences that would likely parallel Meier and Allen's patterns.
Whether this diversity in romantic relationship experiences comes at the expense of young adults' eventual romantic success appears to depend on how stability is conceptualized.
Though Seiffge-Krenke proposed that greater involvement, be it with one partner or many, early on leads to later positive romantic outcomes, the work on romantic dissolutions suggests high amounts of partner turnover could be problematic Amato, ; Simpson, Davies and Windle found adolescent romantic relationships with high involvement but high turnover had different effects on adjustment than did relationships characterized by high involvement with a steady partner.
Thus, although early romantic involvement and turnover are related, the two pieces of romantic stability appear to have distinct outcomes.
Romantic Relationship Patterns in Young Adulthood and Their Developmental Antecedents
The question of central interest in the current study is whether they have distinct antecedents as well, and whether these antecedents represent coherent pathways through which the key features of romantic relationship stability may develop. Given the importance of establishing a committed intimate relationship for achieving adult status Lehnart et al. Collins and Sroufe suggested that caregiver relationships may influence romantic development by shaping children's relational abilities and expectancies.
As to what features of the caregiver relationship are important, sensitivity to developmental context requires a consideration of which measures might best represent key relationship experiences at each period Pettit et al.
Adolescent Online Romantic Relationship Initiation: Differences by Sexual and Gender Identification
Early on, parents who are overly punitive or harsh teach children that connecting to others can be risky, which explains why early harsh parenting has been associated with later challenges in establishing healthy, stable romantic relationships as a young adult Conger et al.
In contrast, parents who are warm and proactive in their parenting teach children that relationships can be rewarding and fulfilling. Although these studies provide persuasive evidence of predictive links between parent— child relationships and later romantic development in young adulthood, Seiffge-Krenke found their influence may begin to wane as romantic relationships deepen. This is not surprising in light of the developmental cascade model, as one would expect other domains of influence to emerge as individuals mature.
Adolescent Online Romantic Relationship Initiation: Differences by Sexual and Gender Identification
As children develop, the peer domain begins to take on greater importance for romantic development Collins et al.
Peers' growing influence is not surprising, as the peer network is often the pool from which romantic partners are chosen Furman, Peer relationships may then act as a bridge between parents and romantic relationships, as learning to meet the need for intimacy through friendships gives adolescents the confidence and skills to go outside the caregiver relationship to fill this need.
However, characteristics of the friends may be important in shaping adolescents' expectations and abilities in later romantic relationships. Thus, it appears relationships with both parents and peers work together to shape the course of romantic relationship development in young adulthood Simpson et al.
- Romantic Relationship Patterns in Young Adulthood and Their Developmental Antecedents
The Current Study The objective of the current study was to identify and describe variations in romantic relationship experiences in young adulthood and their antecedents in a longitudinal, multisite study of males and females. Beginning at age 18 and continuing to age 25, participants were asked about their romantic relationships and whether they were with the same or a new partner.
Use of a person-oriented approach allows for the possibility these features of romantic involvement may be connected in different ways for different young adults, which can augment traditional variable-centered methods with their focus on more aggregate-level associations Zarrett et al.
Finally, the current study draws upon multidimensional parents, peersmultiple-informant participant, parents, teachers, peers, observers data spanning 12 years of development in early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence ages 5—16 to explore the possible antecedents of these different young adult romantic relationship experiences. Several questions were of interest in the current investigation.
To what extent are young adults establishing and maintaining committed intimate relationships? Based on work on the variability of early romantic relationships coupled with the instability that characterizes young adulthood Arnett, ; Wood et al.
Similar to Meier and Allen's groups, we expected to find a group of young adults who were already in a single, long-term relationship. We next expected to find two groups that demonstrated progression to a committed relationship—the first having more consistent romantic involvement characterized by a few long-term relationships and the second, reflecting that this progression may take longer for some individuals, having less overall involvement but still reporting a relationship by the end of the study period.How to Build a Romantic Relationship from Friendship
Capturing the nonprogressing groups, we expected a group of young adults with both high involvement and high turnover. For the fifth and final group, we expected to find young adults with little to no romantic involvement.
Finally, we drew upon the developmental cascade model to address what leads young adults to have different pathways, examining positive and negative experiences within the family and peer domains at multiple stages of development as predictors of romantic involvement and turnover. Data from adolescents is needed to know the extent of adolescents' online formation of romantic relationships.
Some attention has been paid to factors related to adolescents' use of the Internet to form relationships more generally. The rich-get-richer hypothesis proposes that the characteristics that facilitate relationship formation offline i. Consequently, those adolescents who are relatively popular offline will be relatively popular online and group-based disparities in adolescents' formation of relationships offline will be mirrored in online relationship formation Kraut, ; Peter et al.
Consequently, group-based disparities in the formation of adolescents' relationships offline will not be experienced when forming relationships online. Instead, adolescents who have difficulty forming relationships offline will experience relative ease in forming relationships online. As a result, socially anxious and lonely adolescents have less opportunity to form and develop relationships online.
Consistent with the social compensation hypothesis, lonely and socially anxious adolescents prefer online to face-to-face communication McKenna et al. Furthermore, lonely adolescents McKenna et al. Although research concerning rates of and factors associated with adolescents' online formation of romantic relationships is lacking, scholars have speculated about which adolescents go online to meet romantic partners and the benefits of doing so e.
This speculation has considered social skills as well as other social factors that impact the difficulty of forming romantic relationships. Consistent with the rich-get-richer hypothesis, these characteristics of the online environment seem to favor relationship formation for socially adept individuals.
Contrarily, consistent with the social compensation hypothesis, some scholars have speculated that people who experience barriers to meeting romantic partners, such as shyness and lack of access to available partners, will particularly benefit from non-traditional methods to find and meet potential romantic partners, such as using the Internet e. For example, the relative ease of self-disclosure online can lead to attraction e. In addition, the widespread reach of the Internet greatly increases opportunities to find particular types of people.
These opportunities are particularly important for some minority groups, such as gay teens e. Certain groups of adolescents, such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer LGBTQmight experience particular difficulty forming romantic relationships offline.
Teens, Technology and Romantic Relationships
Simply because LGBTQ adolescents are a minority group, they have a limited number of potential partners. Consistent with the social compensation hypothesis, the Internet might help to address these barriers that are experienced by LGBTQ adolescents and to ease the process of initiating romantic relationships for them.
The Internet provides LGBTQ adolescents with an environment in which they can search for, find, and interact with like-minded individuals anonymously and, generally, can do so more safely than in the offline environment. LGBTQ individuals have the potential to learn about another person, such as their sexual identity, through the information that that person posts online, such as on a social network page McKenna, These data, however, lack a direct comparison to non-LGBT youth and a nationally-based sample of adolescents.
Purpose of the Study The current study examines a rates of online formation of romantic relationships among adolescents and b the influence that social factors and individual characteristics and behaviors have on adolescents' online formation of romantic relationships in order to further test the rich-get-richer and social compensation hypotheses. Hypotheses The rich-get-richer hypothesis would be supported if offline access to potential romantic partners, offline supportive relationships, and popularity are positively related to online relationship initiation.
These positive relationships would suggest that the characteristics that facilitate relationship formation offline also facilitate relationship formation online. The social compensation hypothesis would be supported if offline access to potential romantic partners, offline supportive relationships, and popularity are negatively related to online relationship initiation. These negative relationships would suggest that the online environment and affordances facilitate relationship formation particularly for adolescents who have difficulty forming relationships offline.
Based upon the literature, these other influential factors include Internet use characteristics e. Methods Participants Participants were 5, school-attending 1 adolescents in 5th grade or above residing in the Unites States.
Participants were years-old and, on average, With such a low base rate, it is challenging to randomly identify a representative sample large enough to draw statistically valid conclusions. Participants were recruited from a stratified random sample of U. Qualified respondents indicated informed assent online and completed the survey.