SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1:

Meeus, W.H.J., Branje, S.J.T., van der Valk, I., & de Wied, M. (2007). Relationships with intimate partner, best friend, and parents in adolescence and early adulthood: A study of the saliency of the intimate partnershipInternational Journal of Behavioral Development31(6), 569–580.


We studied the psychological importance of best friend and intimate partner in the personal network of adolescents and early adults, and links between relationships and emotional problems as well as links between relationships themselves. A series of hypotheses derived from the “intimate partner (IP) general saliency perspective” and “the intimate partner (IP) early adult saliency perspective” was tested. The IP general saliency perspective predicts that the relationship with intimate partner is psychologically more meaningful than the relationship with best friend in adolescence and early adulthood. The IP early adult saliency perspective predicts that the relationship with intimate partner does not have superior psychological value in adolescence and acquires it in early adulthood. Data of Waves 1 and 3 of a six-year longitudinal study of 1041 adolescents and early adults, aged 12–23 at Wave 1, were used. Results showed that when early adults and adolescents make the shift from best friend to intimate partner, relational commitment becomes stronger and emotional problems become smaller, supporting the IP general saliency perspective. Results also showed that only in early adulthood was a stronger commitment to intimate partner related to less emotional problems, and more parental support was linked to stronger relational commitment to intimate partner. These findings clearly support the IP early adult saliency perspective. In sum, when adolescents and early adults make the transition to the intimate partnership they enter a psychologically more meaningful relationship. When individuals enter early adulthood the psychological value of the intimate partner relationship becomes more salient: the quality of the intimate relationship becomes more stable and linked to emotional adjustment.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Explore the parent-young adult relationship as it is linked to relationship development with an intimate partner.
  2. Discuss the quality of friendships and intimate relationships as they relate to emotional adjustment.
  3. Explain the study’s implications on the relevance of intimacy and friendship in young adulthood.    

Article 2:

Roberson, P. N., Fish, J. N., Olmstead, S. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2015). College Adjustment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Conflict Management A Cross-Lag Assessment of Developmental “Spillover”. Emerging Adulthood, 2167696815570710.


Emerging adulthood is a period in the life course that consists of several developmental tasks, including occupational and relationship exploration. Consistent with the developmental tasks of this period, we tested a model of individual development. Using a sample of emerging adults in romantic relationships (N ¼ 267), we examined the longitudinal association between conflict management and relationship satisfaction and subsequent college adjustment using two cross-lag path analyses. In the first path analyses, results indicated conflict management and social adjustment are mutually influential over time. In this second path analyses, conflict management is related to academic adjustment through relationship satisfaction. Implications for romantic relationship education for emerging adults and future research are discussed.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Describe possible issues which may arise for young adults participating in more intimate relationships which last longer in duration.
  2. Discuss important factors a couple counselor should consider when working with an young adult couple.
  3. How may your setting (e.g. working at a college counseling center) affect how you conceptualize and counsel emerging adults dealing with couple conflict?