Turning points in the romantic history of emerging adults

Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Jenna Hanson, Shmuel Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study examined patterns of romantic relationship turning points in 100 Israeli emerging adults (54 males) who were followed from age 22 to 29. Analyses of interviews at age 29 yielded four distinctive patterns of romantic transitions that are associated with different levels of concurrent well-being: positive outcome turning points, negative outcome turning points, formal turning points, and young people who could not identify any relational turning points. Young people who described a negative turning point or who were unable to identify a turning point were less involved and invested in romantic relationships. In addition, they reported a greater number of depressive symptoms. Those who described a positive outcome turning point or who pointed at a formal turning point reported more stable and healthy romantic relationships and a lower number of symptoms. Increased immature dependency and stress associated with goal attainment measured seven years earlier explained the tendency to identify a negative turning point or the inability to point to a significant event. Conceptualized within the reflexive model of transitions, findings suggest that personal assets such as personality attributes and developmental goal pursuit explain the ability or difficulty of young people to capture the meaning of events in their relational involvements and to move toward or interfere with settling down.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-450
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Taylor & Francis.


  • relationship instabilities
  • romantic relationships
  • transitions
  • turning points


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