Love’s young dream: How relationship quality affects adolescents
Making and maintaining romantic relationships is, for most people, part of growing up. As children transition into adulthood, romantic relationships are likely to become more significant and ideally serve as safe havens or secure bases . In light of the importance of romantic relationships at this time, this recent study from the University of Denver has explored the association between relationship quality and psychosocial adjustment, following a group of 200 young people for a period of nine years (from age 15-24).
The study found that the quality of relationships becomes more important as young people get older and enter into adulthood; in particular, more negative relationships during this time were associated with greater internalising symptoms (negative feelings aimed at the self). The authors also found that the association between relationship quality and externalising symptoms (negative behaviours directed outwards) as well as substance misuse was significant, but more consistent across age. Poor quality relationships therefore can effect behaviour even for younger adolescents.
 Hazan and Zeifman, 1994
Read the full report here.