Romantic Relationships in Adolescence

Adolescence is the period of development between childhood and adulthood, a period of transition and new opportunities. Many of these opportunities are tied to a growing need for balancing autonomy and connection with significant others. The formation and subsequent navigation of romantic relationship experiences in adolescence provide the ideal vehicle for tackling this challenge. Although past research has focused on identifying important features of these early romantic relationships, researchers are only now beginning to understand these relationships in their developmental context and how they differ from relationships with parents and friends during this developmental period. This entry summarizes current thoughts on how romantic relationship partners influence each other in adolescence and how different expectations over roles in romantic relationships cause some unique gender differences across ...

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