Katherine Haydon, assistant professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College, studies how close relationships with parents, friends and romantic partners contribute to developmental outcomes, such as navigating the transition to adulthood.
"People have traditionally gained the skills and capacities they need to have a committed relationship in traditional dating relationships that are dyadic and mutual," Haydon said in a statement. "If young people aren't doing that anymore, we don't know what the developmental implications might be."
Haydon's research also examines the developmental origins of how people behave in their closest relationships.
Each partner brings a suitcase of prior experiences to a relationship, which might influence what happens in their current relationship, Haydon said.
One central question is how romantic partners' individual developmental histories affect what happens in their current relationship, how they resolve conflicts, regulate and express emotions and support each other, the researcher said.