Romantic Relationship Development

Szwedo, D., & Kansky, J. (2020). Romantic Relationship Development. In S. Hupp & Jewell, J. (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development. UK: John Wiley and Sons.


Romantic relationships in adolescence develop out of peer interactions that help to create a foundation for romantic involvement. Romantic involvement progresses in stages from infatuation to intimacy, and is influenced by biological, social, and psychological changes that occur throughout adolescence. Moreover, adolescent romantic relationships develop within the contexts of societal and cultural norms and behaviors as well as those learned from parents, peers, and previous romantic partners. The health and quality of these romantic relationships are furthermore determined by individual differences in the timing of relationships and sexual activity, mental health, emotion regulation abilities, and communication skills. The development of positive, healthy romantic relationships during adolescence is an instrumental precursor to forming satisfying romantic relationships in adulthood.

Last updated on 10/27/2021