Adolescent romantic relationships

W. Andrew Collins, Deborah P. Welsh, Wyndol Furman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

542 Scopus citations


In this article, we review theoretical and empirical advances in research on romantic relationships between age 10 and the early twenties. First, we describe key themes in this area of research. Next, we briefly characterize the most influential theoretical formulations and distinctive methodological issues. We then describe research findings regarding pertinent social and developmental processes. We summarize the extensive findings on relationships with parents and peers as a context for romantic relationships. Finally, we characterize the growing evidence that adolescent romantic relationships are significant for individual adjustment and development, and we note promising directions for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-652
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual review of psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Adolescence
  • Contexts
  • Development
  • Peers


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