Romantic Relations Among Adolescent Parents

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Adolescent Romantic Relations And Sexual Behavior: Theory, Research, And Practical Implications.




This chapter is organized around three goals. First, using data from a longitudinal study of adolescent mothers and their partners, the authors examine whether the quality of a young expectant couple's relationship is relevant to how each parent adjusts to the first year of parenthood. For the purposes of this chapter, "adjustment to parenthood" is defined in terms of (a) the parent's level of stress associated with parenting tasks and roles and (b) the status of the couple's relationship one year following childbirth. Second, the authors describe the interpersonal functioning of expectant adolescent couples, focusing on the association between each partner's subjective appraisal of the relationship and his or her observed interpersonal behavior. More specifically, they clarify the relationship between how young expectant parents feel about each other and how they behave toward one another. Finally, based on findings from the Young Parenthood Project, the authors discuss some general guidelines for intervention efforts designed to improve the relationships of expectant adolescent couples.