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Diversity of romantic experiences in late adolescence and their contribution to identity formation

Abstract : Romance constitutes a central experience in adolescence, which can take several forms including (a) serious romance with a steady partner, (b) casual and short-lived dating, and (c) pending experiences of romantic thoughts and attempts. Using a three-way longitudinal design, the present study examined the gender differences and developmental changes of these romantic experiences, and their cross-lagged associations with identity processes, throughout one year in late adolescence. 389 students (63% girls) filled out questionnaires about their romantic experiences and identity processes. Girls reported more serious romance than did boys, who reported more casual dating and pending experiences. Serious romance increased over the year for both genders, whereas casual dating and pending experiences continued to rise only for boys. The cross-lagged model highlighted that serious romantic experience positively predicted identity commitments and exploration in depth, whereas identity exploration in breadth positively predicted casual dating. This pattern was stable over the three time-points and across gender and age groups. Overall, this study invites consideration of more diverse romantic experiences than those associated with tangible involvement. We discuss the contribution of romantic experiences to the identity dynamic
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http://hal.univ-nantes.fr/hal-02890126
Contributor : Cécile Kindelberger <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 6, 2020 - 10:18:07 AM
Last modification on : Monday, August 3, 2020 - 9:05:43 AM

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Cécile Kindelberger, Pascal Mallet, Jean-Michel Galharret. Diversity of romantic experiences in late adolescence and their contribution to identity formation. Social Development, Wiley, 2020, 29 (2), pp.615-634. ⟨10.1111/sode.12415⟩. ⟨hal-02890126⟩

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