In adolescence, when relationships are new, young people's experiences are shaped in part by family and peers. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 44, 204-219. The level of closeness and support adolescents have experienced with their parents and siblings influences the quality of their romantic relationships. Parent and peer predictors of physical aggression and conflict management in romantic relationships in early adulthood. doi:10.1080/15374416.2014.982756 Mustanski, B., Birkett, M., Greene, G. Sexual minority youth face hurdles in meeting potential partners.
By high school, group activities that include couples are common, and in late adolescence couples spend less time with the peer group and more time together, while continuing to maintain social networks.In adolescence, having a girlfriend or boyfriend can boost one's confidence.When relationships are characterized by intimacy and good communication, youth are happier with themselves.Romantic relationships have much to teach adolescents about communication, emotion, empathy, identity, and (for some couples) sex.While these lessons can often provide a valuable foundation for long-term relationships in adulthood, they are also important contributors to growth, resilience, and happiness in the teen years.
In the pre- and early teen years, romance comes on the scene in the form of crushes, though there may be little contact with the object of infatuation.