Adolescent Peer Relationship Qualities as Predictors of Long-Term Romantic Life Satisfaction

Citation:

Allen, J. P., Narr, R. K., Kansky, J., & Szwedo, D. E. (2020). Adolescent Peer Relationship Qualities as Predictors of Long-Term Romantic Life Satisfaction. Child Development , 91 (1), 327-340.

Abstract:

Adolescent-era predictors of adult romantic life satisfaction were examined in a multimethod, prospective, longitudinal study of 165 adolescents followed from ages 13 to 30. Progress in key developmental tasks, including establishing positive expectations and capacity for assertiveness with peers at age 13, social competence at ages 15 and 16, and ability to form and maintain strong close friendships at ages 16–18, predicted romantic life satisfaction at ages 27–30. In contrast, several qualities linked to romantic experience during adolescence (i.e., sexual and dating experience, physical attractiveness) were unrelated to future satisfaction. Results suggest a central role of competence in nonromantic friendships as preparation for successful management of the future demands of adult romantic life.

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