The Young Adult Love Lives of Happy Teenagers: The Role of Adolescent Affect in Adult Romantic Relationship Functioning


Kansky, J., Allen, J. P., & Diener, E. (2019). The young adult love lives of happy teenagers: The role of adolescent affect in adult romantic relationship functioning. Journal of Research in Personality, 80, 1-9.


This study assessed early adolescent positive and negative affect as long-term predictors of romantic conflict, anxious and avoidant attachment, romantic and social competence, and relationship satisfaction in adulthood utilizing a longitudinal, multi-informant study of 166 participants assessed annually at ages 14–17, and again at ages 23–25. Positive affect in adolescence predicted greater self-rated social competence during late adolescence and greater self-rated romantic competence and less partner-reported hostile conflict almost a decade later. Negative affect predicted lower social and romantic competence. Results generally remained significant after controlling for personality traits, providing greater support for the hypothesis that affect has a robust, direct relation to romantic development over time.

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