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Relational Quality of Adolescents with their Parents and Best Friend, and its Associations with Commitment in the Romantic Relationship

By J. van Duin


This 5-wave study among 397 adolescents examined the longitudinal associations between the development of adolescents’ relationships with parents and peers and commitment to the romantic partner. Data were collected annually from adolescents who completed self-report questionnaires on relationship quality with both parents and best friend at all measurements waves, and on relational commitment to the intimate partner at the fifth wave. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that higher initial levels of relationship quality and a positive development of relationship quality to both parents and friends were associated with higher levels of commitment to the romantic partner. These effects were similar in strength for young to middle adolescents and middle to late adolescents. Further, the relationship quality with parents was equally important as the relationship quality with best friends. A final analysis did not reveal differences in strength of associations with respect to gender. The similarities in strength of associations may be explained by the newly proposed “emergent adult”. However, the results of this study also emphasize the importance of friends above and beyond the attachment bond between parents and their children for the establishment of romantic relationships

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, adolescence, commitment, intimate partner, best friend, parents, relational quality
Year: 2008
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