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ERIC Number: EJ854724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0140-1971
Adolescents' Explanations for Romantic Dissolutions: A Developmental Perspective
Connolly, Jennifer; McIsaac, Caroline
Journal of Adolescence, v32 n5 p1209-1223 Oct 2009
Our objective was to examine the prevalence and developmental significance of romantic break-ups in adolescence, a relatively unexplored area of study. We examined their occurrence in a sample of 910 adolescents, first noting the frequency of these events across age, gender, and romantic experience, and then analyzing the dissolution explanations provided by a subsample (N = 211) who experienced a break-up within the past 6 months. Break-ups were reported by 23% of youth, especially those with extensive romantic experience. Most were described as self-initiated, especially by girls. Using a categorical-content approach, we determined that the majority of dissolution explanations reflected "fit failures" in meeting developmentally salient romantic needs, especially those related to interdependence. Patterns were consistent across gender and age, however, those with romantic experience focused most on unmet intimacy needs. We discuss the developmental significance of break-ups, noting continuity between the needs expressed in intact and dissolving relationships. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A