First comes love, then depression: does early, unhappy romance lead to emotional problems? – Relationships

First comes love, then depression: does early, unhappy romance lead to emotional problems? – Relationships – Brief Article

Robert Hayden

Teens whose first romantic relationships lack emotional intimacy may be at higher risk for depression and substance abuse in later adolescence.

Suzanne Levy, B.S., and Andrea Hussong, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the quality of a teen’s first relationship was more predictive of depression than the age at which the relationship began. Previous studies had indicated that dating at a young age may alone predict future depression.

The researchers also examined parental support for the relationship but were surprised to find that this had little to no impact on later depression.

“We’ve only begun to understand the importance of adolescent relationships,” says Levy, who points out that depressed teens may be more inclined to deem their first relationship flawed.

The survey of 54 11th-grade girls was presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group