Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Social Experiences Can Influence Adult Behavior In Romantic Relationships

Date:
February 14, 2007
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
The way in which individuals think, feel, and behave in their adult romantic relationships is governed not only by factors in their immediate surroundings, but is also a direct result of their past relationships and personal attachment extending all the way back to childhood.

The way in which individuals think, feel, and behave in their adult romantic relationships is governed not only by factors in their immediate surroundings, but is also a direct result of their past relationships and personal attachment extending all the way back to childhood, according to a study reported in the recent issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). At the time of year when many reflect on their romantic experiences—Valentine’s Day, this study sheds light on how relationships are shaped by early experiences.

Related Articles


In a longitudinal study that has spanned more than 25 years (and is still being conducted), 78 individuals were studied at four pivotal points in their lives—infancy, early childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. At the first checkpoint when the participants were 12-months old, caregivers reported on the children’s attachment and exploratory behavior. At the second checkpoint when the participants were 6-8 years old, the participant’s teachers were asked to rate how well the children interacted with their peers. At the third checkpoint the16 years old, participants were asked to describe their close friendships.

At the most recent reporting, the participants’ romantic partners (of at least 4 months) were asked to describe their experiences and their partner’s expressions of emotion during their relationship. Interactions of the couples were also observed and coded to evaluate the expression of emotion and their interpersonal dynamics.

The findings of this study supported previous attachment theories. Expression of emotions in adult romantic relationships can be related back to a person’s attachment experiences during earlier social development. Those participants who were secure and attached as infants were rated with higher social competence as children. Children who were socially competent amongst peers were found to be more secure and closer to their friends at age 16. Participants who were closer to friends as a teen were more expressive and emotionally attached to their romantic partners in early adulthood.

“The current findings highlight one developmental pathway through which significant relationship experiences during the early years of life are tied to the daily experiences in romantic relationships during early adulthood,” said W. Andrew Collins, lead author and University of Minnesota psychology professor.

“One encouraging finding, however, is that the study does not suggest that an individual’s past unalterably determines the future course of his/her relationships.”

Article: “Attachment and the Experience and Expression of Emotion in Romantic Relationships: A Developmental Perspective,” Jeffry Simpson, W. Andrew Collins, Sisi Tran, and Katherine Haydon, University of Minnesota; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 2.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association. "Early Social Experiences Can Influence Adult Behavior In Romantic Relationships." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212183543.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2007, February 14). Early Social Experiences Can Influence Adult Behavior In Romantic Relationships. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212183543.htm
American Psychological Association. "Early Social Experiences Can Influence Adult Behavior In Romantic Relationships." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212183543.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alzheimer’s Hope

Alzheimer’s Hope

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) A new drug, BCI-838 offers new hope to halt and possibly reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s disease. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins