Pietrulewicz B, Zhuravlova L. Significance of relationships and psychosocial adaptation during adolescence.

(2016) Science and education, 5, 7-29. Odessa.

Bogdan Pietrulewicz,
Doctor hab. of Psychology, professor,
Kazimierz Wielki University,
30, Jana Karola Chodkiewicza Str., Bydgoszcz, Poland
Laval University, Canada,
Larysa Zhuravlova,
Doctor hab. of Psychology, professor,
Dean of the Social and Psychological Faculty,
Head of the Department of Social and Applied Psychology,
Zhytomyr State University named after Ivan Franko,
40, Velyka Berdychivska Str., Zhytomyr, Ukraine



This study examines associations between different aspects of romantic involvement and psychosocial adaptation during adolescence. 901 students (432 boys, 469 girls) aged 12 to 17 years, who have been involved in at least one romantic relationship, answered questionnaires aimed at measuring ten parameters of romantic involvement (interest, age at the time of the first romance, average age of the partners, number of romantic relationships, number of broken hearts, average duration of relationship, duration of a recent, more significant relationship, time spent each week out of the school in this relationship, current romantic status, sexually active or not) and four indices of psychosocial adjustment (performance at school, body image, self-esteem, behavioural problems). The results demonstrate that it is possible to accurately predict poorer performance at school based on stronger romantic involvement, which is more significant for younger adolescents (ages 12 to 14) than for older ones (ages 15 to 17). Body image and self-esteem are positively and significantly related to greater involvement in romantic relationships, and boys differ from girls in terms of self-esteem parameters. Finally, behavioural problems are significantly associated with greater romantic involvement at all ages. The significance of correlation between variables ranges from weak to moderate, depending on age and gender (r ranging between 0.13 and 0.40) and the regression equations account for a generally modest portion of the total variance (6.3% to 11.7%). Differences attributable to age and gender refer to interaction effects concerning only few parameters. The results obtained are discussed in the context of psychosocial development in adolescence.


adolescence, attachment relationships, psychosocial adaptation



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