ABSTRACT

In this classic edition top scholars in family research examine the nature and origin of adolescents’ contemporary patterns of sexual and romantic relationships, from the evolutionary roots of these behaviors to policies and programs that represent best practices for addressing these issues in schools and communities. The text offers interdisciplinary expertise from scholars of psychology, social work, sociology, demography, economics, human development and family studies, and public policy. Adolescents and young adults today face very different choices about family formation than did their parents’ generation, given such societal changes as the rise in cohabitation, the increase in divorce rates, and families having fewer children. This book examines these demographic trends and provides a backdrop against which adolescents and emerging adults form and maintain romantic and sexual relationships.

This book addresses such questions as:

*What are the ways in which early family and peer relationships give rise to romantic relationships in the late adolescent and early adult years?

*How do early romantic and sexual relationships influence individuals’ subsequent development and life choices, including family formation?

*To what extent are current trends in romantic and sexual relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood problematic for individuals, families, and communities, and what are the most effective ways to address these issues at the level of practice, program, and policy?

Ideal as a supplement in graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on interpersonal (romantic) relationships, adolescent development, human sexuality, couples and/or family and conflict, sociology of children and youth, family therapy taught in human development and family studies, clinical or counseling psychology, social work, sociology, communications, and human sexuality this book also appreciated by researchers and clinicians/counselors who work with families and adolescents.

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PART I What Are the Evolutionary Origins of Contemporary Patterns of Sexual and Romantic Relationships? Where Does Evolution Leave Off and Where Do History and Culture Begin?

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PART II How Do Early Family and Peer Relationships Give Rise to the Quality of Romantic Relationships in Adolescence and Young Adulthood?

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PART III How Do Early Romantic and Sexual Relationships Influence People Contemporaneously and Later in Life?

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PART IV To What Extent Are Current Trends in Sexual and Romantic Relationships Problematic for Individuals, Families, and Society? What Are Effective Intervention Approaches at the Level of Practice, Program, and Policy?