Adolescents’ Daily Romantic Experiences and Negative Mood: A Dyadic, Intensive Longitudinal Study

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10 Scopus citations


Romantic relationships, although increasingly normative during adolescence, also present unique developmental challenges that can portend psychological difficulties. Underlying these difficulties may be the degree to which daily romantic transactions potentiate fluctuations in negative mood. The present study examined associations between adolescents’ daily romantic relationship experiences and their same-day negative affective states (i.e., fluctuations in high-arousal, aversive mood). Using a dyadic ecological momentary assessment (EMA) design, this study followed an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of 98 adolescent romantic couples twice weekly for 12 weeks (n = 196 individuals; Mage = 16.74 years, SD = 0.90; 45% Latina/o, 45% White; 55% receiving free or reduced meals). The results indicated that various daily romantic experiences (e.g., conflict, feelings about the relationship) predicted greater same-day negative affect. Beyond the effects of these romantic experiences, adolescent couples were also synchronized in their fluctuating negative affective states, evidencing the presence of emotional contagion. Overall, the findings indicate the salience of romantic relationships in the everyday lives of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 6 2018



  • Adolescents
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Negative affect
  • Negative mood
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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