Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

October 2006


Published in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 23:5 (2006), pp. 761–780. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications. Used by permission. DOI: 10.1177/02654075060 68262


This study examined the associations between the quality of adolescents’ peer and family relationships and the quality of their young adult romantic relationships. Adolescents (N = 253) completed self-report measures of their family and peer relationships in grades 10–12; 7 years later, they reported on connectedness, discord, and the conflict tactics used by both partners in their current romantic relationships. Family relationship quality in adolescence predicted the levels of connectedness, discord, and specific conflict behaviors youth reported in their adult romantic relationships. The use of discussion to resolve conflict mediated the association between adolescent family relationships and the level of connectedness in adult romantic relationships. Moreover, use of discussion and physical conflict/threat each partially mediated the effect of family relationship quality on romantic discord. Possible mechanisms linking family of origin relationships to adult romantic relationships are discussed.