Mixed-gender groups dating and romantic relationships in early adolescence

Table 1 displays descriptive statistics for all measures used in the analyses. For our purposes, we group adolescents into three age categories at time 1: By time 3, these respondents are approximately , , and respectively. Family income was missing in approximately 20 percent of cases. For these cases we substituted the mean level of family income, and included an indicator for missing income in our models. Family structure is grouped into four categories: Table 2 documents the cross tabulation of relationship types at times 1 and 2.

The right-most column gives the distribution of relationship types at time 1, and the bottom row gives the distribution of types at time 2.

Mixed‐Gender Groups, Dating, and Romantic Relationships in Early Adolescence

Across rows, the cells represent the percent in each time 1 relationship type who moved to or stayed in each time 2 relationship type. When considering the table as a whole, several general patterns are apparent. First, the diagonal shows a substantial amount of stability in relationship type across the one-year time span. About 70 percent of those who report no relationship at time 1 maintain single status at time 2.

Among those who are in a steady relationship at time 1, nearly 60 percent are in a steady relationship at time 2. Stability and Change in Relationship Types: In a second pattern, among those who change relationship types between times 1 and 2, forward movement is more prevalent than backward movement.

Romantic Partner Selection and Socialization during Early Adolescence

Almost 60 percent of all respondents with one casual relationship at time 1 progress to multiple relationships or to one steady relationship at time 2. Likewise, 53 percent of all respondents with multiple relationships at time 1 progress to a steady relationship at time 2. If we consider only those who changed types by the second time point, 77 percent progressed and 23 percent regressed. While all sixteen cells are displayed, we denote the groupings that comprise the six categories of relationship patterns to be analyzed later: We group in this way to capture stability, change, and the direction of change.

Among those in the stability categories 1, 3, and 6 , those in the stable no relationships, stable one or multiple relationships, and the stable steady categories have quite different relationship experiences.

Likewise, moving forward to one or multiple relationships denotes relationship up-take, whereas moving forward to a steady relationship probably represents an individual who is further along in the relationship progression. The regression category is interesting in that it represents respondents who have moved backwards in the idealized progression, or may simply be experiencing a lull in dating when interviewed.

So, while those who regress are not actively moving forward in their relationship progression at the time of the second interview, on average they have a fair amount of prior relationship experience and may be experiencing a temporary abeyance in their relationship progression Cohen et al To assess socio-demographic attributes associated with adolescent relationship experience, we use multinomial logistic regression to estimate relative risk ratios. In Table 3 , each progression pattern is compared to those with the least common pattern in our sample: The first contrast shows that females, middle and older adolescents, and those from step or other family structures are less likely to have no relationships over the course of adolescence, while black, Asian, and low-income adolescents are more likely to have no relationships.

The second contrast shows that relationship regression or backward movement is more likely only among the oldest and black adolescents. However, the risk is substantial in the case of the oldest adolescents — they are more than twice as likely to regress as to take-up relationships because they already have experience. The third contrast shows no statistically significant socio-demographic differences between relationship uptake and stable low-levels of involvement in one casual or multiple relationships.

twittersahre.dev3.develag.com/694.php The forth contrast shows that middle and older, black, and low-income adolescents are more likely to progress to a steady relationship by time 2. This contrast is interesting when juxtaposed with the first contrast that shows that black and low-income adolescents are more likely to have no relationships. This indicates that while adolescents in these groups are more likely to have no relationships, if romantically involved, they are more likely to progress to steady relationships.

The fifth and final contrast shows that females, middle and older adolescents, and those from single-parent families are more likely and Asian adolescents are less likely to have steady relationships across the course of adolescence In Table 4 we examine associations between relationship patterns and qualities in a multivariate context. We estimate logistic regression models and report odds ratios. For all models, we again use the pattern of relationship up-take as the reference.

Model 1 displays the odds of dyadic mixing. Model 1 also shows that those who regressed or progressed to a steady relationship or were in a steady relationship at both times are between 1. Girls and middle or older teens are more likely to report dyadic involvement, whereas black and low-income teens are less likely to do so. Model 2 estimates the odds of sexual intercourse.

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Again, those who are stable in one or multiple relationships are statistically indistinguishable from those who took up relationships. Adolescents who regressed or who progressed toward a steady relationship are more than two times more likely to have had sex in their most recent relationship. Furthermore, those who were in a steady relationship at both times are six times as likely to have had sex. Model 3 estimates the odds of high emotional intimacy given different relationship patterns.

Similar to the results of the first two models, those in stable steady relationships are especially likely to report high intimacy OR: Those who have progressed to a steady relationship are almost 4 times as likely, and those who regressed are twice as likely to report high levels of emotional intimacy in their most recent relationship compared to those taking up relationships. Girls are more likely and black and Hispanic teens are less likely to report emotional intimacy. There are no age or family structure differences in intimacy net of relationship patterning.

Taken together the models in Table 4 are consistent with the phase and systems theoretical models of relationship development. As adolescents progress towards steady relationships, their relationships become more dyadic, sexual, and emotionally involved.


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Looking now at later relationships in young adulthood, we turn to Table 5 to examine associations between adolescent relationship experiences and young adult relationship history in a multivariate context. We estimate the number of relationships since , and the odds of ever marrying and ever cohabitating outside of marriage. To retain participants who reported no romantic relationships in adolescence, we changed the sexual intercourse measure slightly to indicate whether or not the respondent ever had sex based on their time 1 and 2 reports rather than whether or not they had sex in their most recent relationship at time 2.

This allows us to include the sexual experience of those who did not report a relationship at time 2 but may still have had sex in an earlier relationship or outside of the context of a romantic relationship. For the same reason, we drop the measures of dyadic mixing and emotional intimacy. Unfortunately, we do not have measures of these constructs that are not tied to the most recent relationship at time 2.

In ancillary analyses, we tested models that included the three quality measures among the sub-sample of those who reported a relationship at time 2, and only the sexual intercourse variable was significant. We show two models for each time 3 outcome. The first is without socio-demographic controls, and the second adds our control variables. Theories on relationship development suggest that individuals who are further along the relationship progression should be more likely to have cohabitated or married by time 3 Furman and Wehner We also expect that sexual intercourse in adolescence, to the degree that it signals commitment, will predict marriage and perhaps also cohabitation.

Those who were less far along in the relationship progression as adolescents may have fewer relationships in the last six years if they are generally less interested or have fewer opportunities for relationships. Those who did not have sex in adolescence may report fewer relationships if they are more generally restrictive regarding relationships.

Model 1A estimates the influence of adolescent relationship patterns on the number of relationships the respondent had since without controls. Those who had no adolescent relationships also have substantially fewer relationships in the past six years Coeff. Those who were sexually active in adolescence have more relationships by time 3. When controls are entered in Model 1B, there are no statistically significant differences between the relationship progression patterns for those who reported any type of relationship in adolescence.

However, those who reported no relationships in adolescence still have on average one less relationship by time 3 Coeff. In addition, the positive association between adolescent sex and number of relationships increases slightly in magnitude and remains significant. Regarding control variables, the very oldest respondents and black, Hispanic, and low-income adolescents accumulate fewer relationships by time 3 than their younger, white and higher-income counterparts. The indicator for missing family income is also significant indicating fewer relationships among these respondents.

Model 2A estimates the odds of ever cohabiting with a romantic partner by time 3 without controls. This shows that only those who had no relationships in adolescence are at reduced odds of cohabitation OR: Those with any relationship experience in adolescence are not statistically different in their odds of cohabitation. Adolescent sex triples the odds of cohabitation, perhaps signifying less restrictive attitudes towards relationships in general. When controls are added in Model 2B, the findings for adolescent relationship patterns and sex remain.

Many of the controls are significant as well. Females, middle and older adolescents, those from non-intact or low-income families are also more likely to have cohabited. Only blacks and Hispanics are less likely to have cohabited by time 3. Model 3A estimates the odds of having married by time 3 without controls. Here we see that those who have progressed to or sustained steady involvement in adolescence are more likely to have married by time 3. Those who report intercourse in one or both of the first two waves are also more likely to have married.

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When controls are added in Model 3B only those in the stable steady adolescent relationship pattern remain more likely to have married by time 3 OR: Having sex in adolescence also remains significant OR: Much like the findings for cohabitation in Model 2B, females, middle and older adolescents, those from step families or other family types, and those from low-income families or where income is missing are also more likely to be married by time 3.

Only blacks are less likely to be married. Because our sample ranges from 18 to 25 at time 3, many respondents are quite young for having cohabitation, and especially marriage, experience. However, the lack of such experience probably does not indicate a lack of relationship experience altogether. To get some insight into other types of young adult romantic relationships, we tested the associations between adolescent relationship experiences and current relationship status single, dating exclusively, dating non-exclusively, cohabiting but not engaged, engaged, and married at the time of the third interview not shown.

We did not find significant associations between adolescent relationships and current relationship status. Following respondents in the next wave of the Add Health data to be collected in will allow us to assess more time-normative young adult relationship experiences and their adolescent precursors. While our primary interest in Table 5 is in the influence of earlier relationship experiences on young adult relationship status, we must acknowledge that our set of socio-demographic characteristics, which are largely ascribed characteristics, have persistent effects on young adult relationships.

Some general conclusions can be drawn. First, females, older respondents, and those from non-intact or low income families of origin are more likely to have cohabited or married by young adulthood. This is consistent with population statistics that indicate that women marry earlier than men U. Census Bureau , and those from non-intact family structures are also more likely to marry or cohabit at a young age Aquilino ; Goldscheider and Goldscheider We also find that blacks are only one-half to two-thirds as likely as whites to have cohabited or married by time 3, and blacks, Hispanics, and those from low-income families report fewer relationships from adolescence to young adulthood.

That blacks are less likely to have married is completely consistent with the findings of numerous past studies e. Theories on romantic relationship development in adolescence posit a progression of involvement and a change in relationship quality to more emotional and physical intensity and more dyadic mixing with age, relationship duration, and experience in romantic relationships. In addition, theory suggests that adolescent romantic relationships should be an integral part of the social scaffolding on which young adult romantic relationships rest.

Furthermore, as the age at formal union formation increases in the U. In this study, we set out to review and integrate theories and prior empirical studies on the development of romantic experiences during the transition to adulthood. To test these theories, we wanted to empirically assess the types, qualities, and patterns of romantic relationships in adolescence and into adulthood with a large, longitudinal, and representative dataset that follows adolescents into early adulthood.

With the Add Health data we were able to confirm the theoretically suggested normative pattern of relationship development in adolescence. Specifically, with regard to relationship patterning over time, we confirm on a national level the prior findings with age-limited and localized data that pro gression is more prevalent than re gression in relationship experience Connolly et al Still, we find somewhat more evidence of backward movement. Our study probably observes more regression because our participants have more relationship experience on average and are older, on average when we first observe them.

Thus, they have accumulated more relationship experience from which to regress at our first point of observation. Our findings with regard to stability over time should not be ignored or forgotten. This is consistent with the high degree of stability over a relatively short span of time documented by some studies Connolly et al , but runs counter to the finding of others that more adolescents change relationship type than stay in the same type over a one-year time span Davies and Windle Perhaps this is because our study includes the full age-range of adolescents whereas the findings of more substantial change are based on a sample of to years-olds.

It is precisely those in this middle age group who are likely to be in the thick of relationship change.