Romantic and Sexual Experiences in Adolescence and Later Relationship Instability: How Do Family of Origin Factors Inform the Relationship Life Course?
Lisa Boyd, Pennsylvania State University
This project uses two waves of a nationally representative longitudinal dataset, Add Health, to examine sexual initiation and number of romantic relationships in adolescence, as well as number of sex partners and number of relationship transitions in early adulthood. Its focus is on how family structure and parent-child closeness are related to both sets of outcomes. An additional aim is to identify continuities or discontinuities between two stages of the life course in an effort to determine whether a life course framework lends something valuable to the study of romantic and sexual relationships. Results indicate that both family structure and parent-child closeness predict sexual initiation and number of relationship transitions in early adulthood, while parent-child closeness also predicts number of relationships in adolescence and number of sex partners at Wave III. In almost every analysis, closeness to parents mediates the relationship between family structure and the outcome of interest.
Presented in Poster Session 6