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The Effects of Romantic Involvement on Psychological Well-Being in Late Adolescence
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by Madeline E. McNeeley, Laura N. May, and Deborah P. Welsh - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Categories: Social | Developmental
Social dating has long been considered a central part of the adolescent experience by psychological theorists. Specifically, Erikson (1968) and Sullivan (1953) theorized that early romantic relationships play an important role in healthy psychosocial development. Moreover, Dunphy (1963) proposed a stage theory in which normative development of interpersonal relationships culminates in late adolescence with involvement in intimate, dyadic romantic relationships. However, little empirical research has been conducted on these theories until very recently. This study extends the line of research in this area by analyzing the relationship between romantic involvement and well-being in late adolescence; whereby well-being is defined as positive self-concept and the absence of depression. Implications of the findings for these theories are discussed.