New study examines on/off relationships and 'sex with an ex' among teenagers and young adults

A new study finds that nearly half of older teenagers and young adults break up and get back together with previous dating partners and over half of this group have sex as part of the reconciliation process. This study was recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Research.

Researchers Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Wendy Manning, Peggy Giordano and Monica Longmore studied data on 792 daters and cohabiters ages 17 to 24, also known as "emerging adults." The researchers studied two relationship patterns specifically – reconciliation with an ex, or breaking up and getting back together, and "sex with an ex," when couples break up, yet remain sexually involved.

Study authors found that approximately 44% of emerging adults who had been in a in the past two years had experienced at least one reconciliation with an ex romantic partner and 53% of those who reported reconciliations also reported having sex with their ex. Additionally, in particular were even more likely to experience reconciliation or with previous romantic partners.

The study authors discussed the implications of reconciliations with previous : "Emerging adults who reconcile may be prone to a behavior pattern that involves cycling through relationship formation… Furthermore, having sex with an ex may be problematic because former partners can have difficulty moving on from an old relationship or building new romantic attachments."

More information: "Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and Sex with an Ex" jar.sagepub.com/content/early/… 464524.full.pdf+html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Teens in Love Do Less Crime

Jan 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Teenagers in love may be less likely to get mixed up in crime and substance abuse, according to new UC Davis research. But while romantic love seems to help keep teens law-abiding, casual sex can mean trouble.

Female money doesn't buy male happiness

Jul 17, 2012

Macho men whose partners earn more than they do have worse romantic relationships, in part because the difference in income is a strain for them, according to a new study by Patrick Coughlin and Jay Wade from Fordham University ...

Recommended for you

Blood test spots adult depression

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A new blood test is the first objective scientific way to diagnose major depression in adults, a new study claims.

Job stress not the only cause of burnouts at work

15 hours ago

Impossible deadlines, demanding bosses, abusive colleagues, unpaid overtime—all these factors can lead to a burnout. When it comes to mental health in the workplace, we often forget to consider the influence of home life.

Web technology offers mental health support

18 hours ago

A web based application connecting people with potential mental health issues to clinical advice and support networks has been created by researchers at Aston and Warwick universities.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Argiod
1 / 5 (1) Jan 22, 2013
I never have, and never will, go back to a partner I've broken up with. If I think it's necessary to end a relationship, there is no reconciliation. I abide by an old Scottish proverb:
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, and I'll bear the shame my d*mned self. I'm no Charlie Brown. Lucy would never get me to kick that stupid football a second time.