Romantic relationships in adolescents with internalizing and externalizing problems
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SubjectInternalizing and externalizing problems; Comorbidity; Quantitative and qualitative aspects of romantic relationships; Adolescents
The main focus of this study was to examine the influence that individual’ psychological problems have on involvement and quality of adolescents’ romantic relationships. A sample of 621 adolescents (308 males and 313 females) aged from 14 to 17 years was recruited for this study. Psychological problems were asessed by means of Youth Self-Report that assessed externalizing (aggressive, disruptive, hyperactive, antisocial, and delinquent behaviours) or internalizing (depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal) problems. Differently from previous studies, it has been differentiated “pure” externalizing or internalizing problems from comorbidity forms of psychological problems. Total number of partners and the mean of relationships’ duration were used to explore the quantitative aspects of romantic relationships. Network of Relationships Inventory and a Relationship Satisfaction Scale were employed to measure the positive (companionship, intimacy, reliable alliance and Support) and negative (Conflict, Antagonism, and Reliable Power) qualities. Results showed that both adolescents with pure externalizing or with comorbidity problems reported a higher total number of partners than adolescents with pure internalizing problems did. Furthermore, they had romantic relationships characterized by more negative qualitative features.
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