Adolescents' Relationships with Parents and Romantic Partners in Eight Countries

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Introduction: Creating romantic relationships characterized by high-quality, satisfaction, few conflicts, and reasoning strategies to handle conflicts is an important developmental task for adolescents connected to the relational models they receive from their parents. This study examines how parent–adolescent conflicts, attachment, positive parenting, and communication are related to adolescents' romantic relationship quality, satisfaction, conflicts, and management.

Method: We interviewed 311 adolescents at two time points (females = 52%, ages 15 and 17) in eight countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Generalized and linear mixed models were run considering the participants' nesting within countries.

Results: Adolescents with negative conflicts with their parents reported low romantic relationship quality and satisfaction and high conflicts with their romantic partners. Adolescents experiencing an anxious attachment to their parents reported low romantic relationship quality, while adolescents with positive parenting showed high romantic relationship satisfaction. However, no association between parent–adolescent relationships and conflict management skills involving reasoning with the partner was found. No associations of parent–adolescent communication with romantic relationship dimensions emerged, nor was there any effect of the country on romantic relationship quality or satisfaction.

Conclusion: These results stress the relevance of parent–adolescent conflicts and attachment as factors connected to how adolescents experience romantic relationships.