CitationBandy, Tawana; Terzian, Mary A.; & Moore, Kristin Anderson (2012). Do adolescent mental health issues predict unhealthy young adult romantic relationships?. 2012 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
AbstractClinical practice and existing research suggest that mental health issues can negatively affect relationships, including romantic relationships (Gotlib, Lewinson & Seely, 1998). To date, however, very few large scale studies have followed adolescents into early adulthood to examine this issue. In our attempt to fill this gap, this study assesses whether young adults reporting isolated or recurring suicidality and depression during adolescence are more likely to report unhealthy relationships in young adulthood. Unhealthy relationships are defined by the presence of relationship violence, sexual infidelity, uncommitted relationship status, and/or a lack of mutual love. We analyze data from 6,760 heterosexual young adults, using cross tabulation analysis. Based on our review of the available literature (Barrios, Evertt, Simon, & Brener, 2000; Kandel & Davis, 1986) we hypothesize that young adults reporting isolated or recurring suicidality and depression as adolescents will be more likely to report relationship violence and sexual infidelity, and to report that they are not in a committed relationship, or a mutually loving relationship, relative to young adults who did not report isolated or recurring suicidality and depression in adolescence. We test whether this pattern holds, using multivariate regressions to control for age, gender, parent education, family structure, income, and race/ethnicity. Findings suggest that young adults reporting mental health issues as adolescents are more likely to report relationship violence and sexual infidelity than those who did not, but are not less likely to report being in a committed relationship or a mutually loving relationship in young adulthood, net of controls.
Keyword(s)Mental health Romantic
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2012 Add Health Users Conference
Terzian, Mary A.
Moore, Kristin Anderson