Adolescent academic achievement and romantic relationships

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Giordano, P.C., K.D. Phelps, Wendy Manning, and M.A. Longmore. 2008. "Adolescent academic achievement and romantic relationships." Social Science Research, 37(1): 37-54.

Parent and peer influences on academic achievement are well documented, but little research has examined links to romantic involvement during the adolescent period. This study draws on interviews with 572 currently dating teens and results indicate that the romantic partner's grades are significantly related to adolescent respondents' self-reported grades, even after their own orientation toward school and traditional family, peer, and demographic controls have been taken into account. We hypothesize, following results on peer influence processes, that this concordance reveals a tendency to select similar partners, but may involve social influence processes as well. A longitudinal analysis in which partners' grades predict respondents' grades reported at the second interview (controlling for wave one grades and the other covariates) lends support to this view. We also explore the role of age, gender and race/ethnicity as affecting the nature of these relationships. Finally, we draw on the content of in-depth interviews elicited from a subset of the respondents to illustrate both types of mechanisms (selection vs. influence). These results underscore the importance of continuing to explore the role of romantic partners in connection with a broad range of prosocial as well as problem adolescent outcomes.(c) 2008 published by Elsevier Inc.

10.1016/j.ssresearch.2007.06.004

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