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Do friendships provide a training ground for adolescents’ romantic relationships?

If Friendship Is A Training Ground For Romantic Relationships, What Happens To Teens With Low Quality Friendships?

How do adolescents learn to form high quality romantic relationships? There are no doubt many factors, but friends may be a particularly important influence as interactions with friends provide a “training ground” for the development of skills that adolescents will need for romantic relationships. An exploration of the influence of friendships on romantic relationships is especially important because the quality of adolescents’ romantic relationships have been associated with a sense of self-worth, mental health status, and well-being (see hereherehere, and here), for better or for worse.

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The Pros and Cons of Dating and Sex During Adolescence

Dating And Sexual Intercourse During Adolescence Is Often Seen As Negative, But Some Researchers View It As An Important Developmental Milestone.

Romantic relationships and sexual activity during adolescence are often viewed in the popular media as a complex topicOne popular news article from a parents-of-teens website suggests that teens should not be allowed to date until the parent has discussed with them all aspects of romance and dating, including sexual activity. However, opinions on “The Talk” and discussing sexual intercourse with adolescents vary by region. For example, I grew up in a highly conservative area of the South and had to sign a chastity pledge as part of my abstinence-only sexual education. Meanwhile, my friends in other states learned about various birth control methods. Some researchers maintain that early romantic relationships and sexual debut have harmful effects. Other researchers insist that these processes are all part of natural development and may have positive effects.

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