TN Romantic Relationship has selected two recent articles to share with you.
Article 1 by Cornelius et al., (2016). Spread of health behaviors in young couples: How relationship power shapes relational influence.
Doi link: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.030
Introduction: Romantic relationships provide a context in which partners can influence each other's health behaviors (e.g., weight-related behaviors, substance use). Partner influence may be especially pronounced among newly parenting adolescent and young adult couples because of the desire to maintain relationships (and therefore openness to influence), and because parenting-related challenges can pose risk for uptake of unhealthy behaviors. Two understudied factors that might affect partner influence on health behaviors include relative power within the relationship and prior levels of engagement in health behaviors. Methods: The current study explored longitudinal partner influence effects in a sample of newly parenting adolescent and young adult females and their male partners (Ncouples = 157) recruited from four obstetrics/gynecology clinics in Connecticut between July 2007 and February 2011. Five health behaviors in two domains were explored: weight-related behaviors (unhealthy eating, exercise) and substance use (cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use). Relationship power and previous levels of health behaviors were examined as moderators. Variations across gender were also examined. Results: Results of dyadic analysis showed partner influences for alcohol use. Partner influence depended on relationship power for eating, alcohol, and marijuana use, and on previous behavior for cigarette use. Results also varied by gender - only female-to-male influence was found for unhealthy eating and cigarette use. Higher relationship power was protective against smoking escalation for females. Discussion: These results differ from previous research findings mainly on male-to-female influences. Such asymmetries may reflect traditional female dominance in food preparation, as well as shifts in power balances postpartum. Targeting relational power dynamics may buffer the spread and escalation of unhealthy behaviors in young parents, with implications for the health of both members of a couple as well as their children.
Article 2 by Johnson et al., (2015): The age–IPV curve: Changes in the perpetration of intimate partner violence during adolescence and young adulthood.
Doi link: 10.1007/s10964-014-0158-z
Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) has evolved over the last decade with increasing interest in how IPV develops over adolescence and young adulthood. Studies examining patterns of IPV over time have generally focused on victimization with less attention to temporal shifts in perpetration. While it is generally assumed that IPV peaks during young adulthood, this has not been empirically verified and documented. Additionally, prior longitudinal analyses of IPV have focused on identifying trajectories and their accompanying risk factors, with less attention given to within-individual change in IPV experiences across and within relationships. Drawing on five waves of data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study, we examined patterns of the perpetration of IPV among a diverse sample of adolescents and young adults (51.1 % female, 63.9 % non-Hispanic White, 24.6 % non-Hispanic Black, 11.5 % Hispanic) spanning the ages of 13–28 years (N = 1,164). Analyses demonstrated that IPV patterns deviate from the age–crime curve, with women’s involvement in IPV increasing, while their involvement in other antisocial behaviors is decreasing. Traditional behavioral and psychological risk factors (delinquency, alcohol and drug use, depressive symptoms) accounted for some of the age variation in IPV for men, but these factors did not account for age variation in IPV among women. Relationship risk factors including frequency of disagreements, trust, jealousy, validation and self-disclosure, however, accounted for substantial portions of the age–IPV perpetration relationship for male and female youth. These findings reinforce recent calls for prevention efforts that focus on the development and maintenance of healthy relationships.
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Professor Jennifer Connolly, York University, Canada and Dr. Rongqin Yu, University of Oxford, United Kingdom