Romantic relationship involvement during early and middle adolescence: associations with depressive symptoms, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and sexual activity
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Using data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, I examined the associations between romantic relationship involvement and sixth and ninth graders' adjustment (depressive symptoms, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use, and sexual activity by testing 1) the association between romantic relationship involvement and adjustment; 2) the association between romantic relationship quality and adjustment; and 3) whether or not parent-adolescent relationship quality or friendship quality moderates the association between romantic relationship quality and adjustment. Romantic relationship involvement, either currently or in the past, is positively associated ATOD use and sexual activity but not depression. Negative romantic relationship quality during the ninth grade is positively associated with current depressive symptoms. No moderating effects were found. These results suggest that romantic relationship involvement may be a risk factor for ATOD use and sexual activity whereas negative romantic relationships may place ninth graders at risk for experiencing depressive symptoms.
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