Research and clinical experience suggest that issues related to suicide and depression in adolescence can negatively affect interpersonal relationships, including romantic relationships, in later life. To date, few large-scale studies have followed adolescents into early adulthood to examine relationship outcomes.
To address this gap, Child Trends analyzed data from heterosexual young adults participating in Add Health (the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health). The sample consisted of young adults who were ages 12 to 17 during Wave I of the Add Health survey, had reported having been in sexual relationships with members of the opposite sex at Wave III, and had participated in all three waves of the survey. We relied on adolescents' self-reports of moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Unhealthy relationship outcomes of interest included the presence of infidelity and the presence of violence, in each case by either the respondent or their partner. (Author abstract)