Childhood Family Experiences and Close Relationships and Loneliness in Adolescence: how They Relate?
C. Faludi1
1Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Background: According to attachment theory, romantic and sexual involvement and commitment to a steady partner mark the transition to adulthood aimed at procreation and transfer of well-being to next generation. The paper explores how quality of relationships with parents - in terms of attachment to parents, stressful childhood experiences and family ties - influences satisfaction in romantic dyads and social loneliness in adolescence - measured in terms of relationships with friends. Methods: From the online Outcome of Adolescence Survey, completed by Romanian students on the XIIth grade in 2012-13, only respondents with a romantic partner and who lived with parents until their 15 were selected. Two logistic regression models were applied to 1259 students, controlling for gender, age-group and economic status of family. Findings: According to first logistic regression, relationships with parents in childhood appeared unrelated with satisfaction in romantic dyad in adolescence. However, males reported significantly less satisfaction in partnership than females. Instead, the second regression model proved that low attachment to parents and material deprivation almost halved the chance to avoid loneliness. In addition, high level of stress in family significantly increased the chance of relying on the social network of friends. Younger adolescents were more likely to rely on friends. Family ties during childhood seemed unrelated with the quality of romantic relationship or with the level of social loneliness in adolescence. Discussion: This study is valuable as our trial to capture a clearer picture of the contribution of family experiences in childhood on the quality of romantic dyads and of friendship networks among nowadays adolescents is a novelty in the Romanian literature on adolescents.