November 24, 2014
In this study researchers compared early adolescents from both intact and divorced families on aspects of the families romantic experiences: having a romantic relationship, dating stage, influences within romantic relationships, and romantic relationship quality. It’s predicted that adolescents from divorced families would be more likely to have a romantic relationship at a young age, be at a higher dating stage, experience more romantic influence, and have lower romantic relationship quality than those from adolescents from intact families. It was hypothesized that family conflict, parental monitoring, and puberty would mediate the predicted main effects between family structure and romantic experiences. There were no differences between adolescents residence in stepparent, single-parent, or other type of divorced families and any of the other measured variables. The purpose of this study was to increase power in the analyses. The sample consisted of 1,765 adolescents (1,315 from intact families and
379 from divorced families; 880 males and 885 females). The average age of the
participants was 11.80 years. Ranged from 9.31 years to 14.84 years. The adolescents in the sample were enrolled in seven elementary schools. The sample was for the most part Euro-Canadian 74%, with 3% African Canadian,
9% Asian Canadian, and 14% not indicating their ethnic background.
The participants filled out demographic questions, included information on their family structure. Responses regarding the family structure were grouped into the following categories: intact family, stepparent family, single-parent family or divorced family if specific family type was not specified. The majority of participants in this study came from two-parent households (77.6%), 5.3% came from stepparent families, 13.8% came from single-parent homes, and 3.3% came from other types of divorced family configurations that were not specified.
From these findings from the what researchers said I do not agree with this article. What the research is lacking are on the effects of divorce on adolescents’ romantic relationships. Family divorce has been found to be a factor in adolescents’ romantic relationships. Adolescents from divorced families, compared to those from intact families, experience more conflict (Amato & Keith,
1991) and less parental monitoring (Kim, Hetherington, & Reiss, 1999).
Continuing exposure to some sort of family conflict can leave children with a negative view of the world and how people relate to each other. For example,
Franklin, Janoff-Bulman, and Roberts (1990) found that children with families
who have a lot of conflict in their relationship often developed expectations of future relations. Another example, adolescents who experience low parental monitoring, are more independent of their parents and are more likely to associate with peers (Kim et al., 1999) and be more susceptible to peer influences (Steinberg, 1987). These family variables have been shown to be important contributors to romantic relationships, they should keep continued to be examined in studying early adolescent romantic relationships.
In the article the author talks about that there are also gender differences.
In examining between adolescents’ romantic relationships and family experiences. Gender differences in divorced families has been inconsistent, according to the research. Whereas some researchers haven’t found any gender differences in adolescents’ dating in divorced families (Flewelling & Bauman,
1990). Other researchers have found that females from divorced families become sexually active and involved in romantic relationships at earlier ages than males
(Newcomer & Udry, 1987).