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06-01-2018 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 7/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 7/2018

Adolescents’ Daily Romantic Experiences and Negative Mood: A Dyadic, Intensive Longitudinal Study

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 7/2018
Adam A. Rogers, Thao Ha, Kimberly A. Updegraff, Masumi Iida


Romantic relationships, although increasingly normative during adolescence, also present unique developmental challenges that can portend psychological difficulties. Underlying these difficulties may be the degree to which daily romantic transactions potentiate fluctuations in negative mood. The present study examined associations between adolescents’ daily romantic relationship experiences and their same-day negative affective states (i.e., fluctuations in high-arousal, aversive mood). Using a dyadic ecological momentary assessment (EMA) design, this study followed an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of 98 adolescent romantic couples twice weekly for 12 weeks (n = 196 individuals; Mage = 16.74 years, SD = 0.90; 45% Latina/o, 45% White; 55% receiving free or reduced meals). The results indicated that various daily romantic experiences (e.g., conflict, feelings about the relationship) predicted greater same-day negative affect. Beyond the effects of these romantic experiences, adolescent couples were also synchronized in their fluctuating negative affective states, evidencing the presence of emotional contagion. Overall, the findings indicate the salience of romantic relationships in the everyday lives of adolescents.

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