Romantic relationship trajectories among young African American men: The influence of adverse life contexts.

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Summary of "Romantic relationship trajectories among young African American men: The influence of adverse life contexts."

The development of supportive and committed romantic relationships during emerging adulthood forecasts relationship quality later in adulthood. Many emerging adult African American men are exposed to challenging socioeconomic environments that are known to undermine romantic relationships. Studies of African American men's romantic relationship quality and its antecedents during this developmental period are scarce. The present study investigates longitudinal trajectories of romantic relationship quality among African American emerging adult men and then tests a model linking them to adverse childhood experiences, socioeconomic instability, community disadvantage, and defensive relational schemas. The analytic sample included 331 African American men who reported having a romantic partner, observed during three waves of data collection from ages 19 to age 26. Using men's reports of romantic relationship support, conflict, and dyadic trust, parallel growth mixture modeling was conducted to identify romantic relationship trajectory profiles. We identified three romantic relationship trajectory profiles: and Structural equation analyses revealed that adverse childhood experiences were associated positively with contemporaneous contextual risk factors (i.e., socioeconomic instability and community disadvantage), which in turn, were associated significantly with membership in and trajectories through defensive relational schemas. The present study reveals heterogeneous romantic relationships among African American emerging adult men. Findings support the conjoint influences of early adversity and contemporaneous stressors as robust antecedents of African American men's romantic relationship behaviors over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43)
ISSN: 1939-1293


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