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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 4/2014

01-05-2014

The Blues of Adolescent Romance: Observed Affective Interactions in Adolescent Romantic Relationships Associated with Depressive Symptoms

Auteurs: Thao Ha, Thomas J. Dishion, Geertjan Overbeek, William J. Burk, Rutger C. M. E. Engels

Gepubliceerd in: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology | Uitgave 4/2014

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Abstract

We examined the associations between observed expressions of positive and negative emotions during conflict discussions and depressive symptoms during a 2-year period in a sample of 160 adolescents in 80 romantic relationships (M age = 15.48, SD = 1.16). Conflict discussions were coded using the 10-code Specific Affect Coding System. Depressive symptoms were assessed at the time of the observed conflict discussions (Time 1) and 2 years later (Time 2). Data were analyzed using actor–partner interdependence models. Girls’ expression of both positive and negative emotions at T1 was related to their own depressive symptoms at T2 (actor effect). Boys’ positive emotions and negative emotions (actor effect) and girls’ negative emotions (partner effect) were related to boys’ depressive symptoms at T2. Contrary to expectation, relationship break-up and relationship satisfaction were unrelated to changes in depressive symptoms or expression of negative or positive emotion during conflict discussion. These findings underscore the unique quality of adolescent romantic relationships and suggest new directions in the study of the link between mental health and romantic involvement in adolescence.
Voetnoten
1
The order of the conflict discussions of the boys and the girls was not counterbalanced; therefore, possible order effects could not have been ruled out.
 
2
At T2 adolescents in stable relationships reported on whether there was a break-up between T1 and 2. It appeared that in total, 10 of the 26 stable couples had broken up their relationship at least once. However, with the current sample size it was not possible to investigate the effects of the three break-up groups (stable couples, stable couples with break-up, and break-up at T2) in the APIM models. However, correlational analyses indicated that multiple breakups in stable couples was not significantly related with depressive symptoms at T2.
 
3
In additional analyses, duration of the relationship at T1 was tested as a control variable instead of age. Duration at T1 was regressed on depressive symptoms at T1 and T2 and also on the boys’ and the girls’ negative and positive emotions at T1. Results showed that duration of the relationship at T1 was not significantly related to any of the variables. When age of first romantic relationship was included as a covariate, it was found that it related to boys’ depressive symptoms at T2 (β = −0.24, p = 0.01), indicating that a younger age of first romantic relationships was related to higher levels of depressive symptoms at T2 for boys. Number of previous relationships was also tested as a covariate; a higher number of previous relationships was found to be related to boys’ depressive symptoms at T2 (β = 0.21, p < 0.02). Age of first romantic relationship and number of romantic relationships were not related to other study variables. The main relationships between positive and negative emotions and depressive symptoms over time remained the same and including relationship duration, age of first relationship, and number of previous relationships did not change the results.
 
4
When positive and negative emotions were tested in one model, problematic model fit was attained (CFI = 0.87; RMSEA = 0.11), yet the pattern of the results remained the same.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
The Blues of Adolescent Romance: Observed Affective Interactions in Adolescent Romantic Relationships Associated with Depressive Symptoms
Auteurs
Thao Ha
Thomas J. Dishion
Geertjan Overbeek
William J. Burk
Rutger C. M. E. Engels
Publicatiedatum
01-05-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology / Uitgave 4/2014
Print ISSN: 2730-7166
Elektronisch ISSN: 2730-7174
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9808-y

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