Patterns of romantic involvement among emerging adults: Psychosocial correlates and precursors

Shmuel Shulman, Miri Scharf, Yaara Livne, Tamuz Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined patterns of romantic involvement in 100 Israeli emerging adults (54 males) who were followed from age 22 to 29 years. Analyses of interviews at age 29 yielded four distinctive relational patterns that are associated with different levels of concurrent wellbeing: Intimately committed, Intimate, Non- intimately committed, and Non-stable. Low efficacy, immature dependency and low parental support, measured 7 years earlier, predicted less optimal romantic relational patterns - non-stable or non-intimately committed. Continued pursuit of studies predicted a delay in entering a committed relationship, despite the capability for such a relationship. Findings of the study suggest that personality and family attributes explain the type and quality of relationships in which young people will be involved, while contextual factors only explain postponement of commitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-467
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation, ISF - Grant # 1016/05.


  • dating
  • relationship quality
  • romantic relationships
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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