Two interesting articles on youth romantic relationship (Jan, 2017)

February 02, 2017 4:27 PM | Deleted user

TN Romantic Relationship has selected two recent articles to share with you. Below is our selection of January 2017.

Article 1 by Bartel et al. (2017): Do romantic partners influence each other's heavy episodic drinking? Support for the partner influence hypothesis in a three-year longitudinal study

DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.01.020

Background: Approximately one in five adults engage in heavy episodic drinking (HED), a behavior with serious health and social consequences. Environmental, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors contribute to and perpetuate HED. Prior research supports the partner influence hypothesis where partners influence each other's HED. Objectives: We examined the partner influence hypothesis longitudinally over three years in heterosexual couples in serious romantic relationships, while exploring possible sex differences in the magnitude of partner influence. Methods: One-hundred-and-seventy-nine heterosexual couples in serious relationships (38.5% married at baseline) completed a measure of HED at baseline and again three years later. Results: Using actor-partner interdependence modelling, results showed actor effects for both men and women, with HED remaining stable for each partner from baseline to follow-up. Significant partner effects were found for both men and women, who both positively influenced their partners' HED over the three-year follow-up. Conclusions: The partner influence hypothesis was supported. Results indicated partner influences on HED occur over the longer term and apply to partners in varying stages of serious romantic relationships (e.g., cohabiting, engaged, married). Women were found to influence their partners' HED just as much as men influence their partners' HED. Findings suggest HED should be assessed and treated as a couples' issue rather than simply as an individual risky behavior.

Article 2 by Visserman et al (2017): Me or us? Self-control promotes a healthy balance between personal and relationship concerns

DOI 10.1177/1948550616662121

Although romantic partners strive to achieve an optimal balance in fulfilling both personal and relational concerns, they are inevitably challenged by how much time and effort they can dedicate to both concerns. In the present work, we examined the role of self-control in successfully maintaining personal–relational balance through promoting balance and preventing personal and relational imbalance (overdedication to personal or relational concerns, respectively). We conducted two studies among romantic couples (total N = 555), using questionnaires and diary procedures to assess everyday experiences of personal-relational balance and imbalance. Both studies consistently showed that self-control promotes personal–relational balance. Moreover, findings partly supported our hypothesis that self-control prevents personal and relational imbalance (Study 2). Finally, findings also revealed that maintaining personal–relational balance is one of the mechanisms by which self-control can promote personal and relationship well-being. Implications of the present findings and avenues for future research are discussed.

I hope you enjoy our selections!

Professor Jennifer Connolly, York University, Canada and Dr. Rongqin Yu, University of Oxford, UK