The Changing Face (and Heart) of Courtship

Released: 15-Jan-2013 12:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Mount Holyoke College
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Newswise — Katherine (KC) Haydon, assistant professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College, studies the increasingly common “hook-up culture” among younger people, which is beginning to replace traditional dating as a relationship type.

"People have traditionally gained the skills and capacities they need to have a committed relationship in traditional dating relationships that are dyadic and mutual," she says. "If young people aren't doing that anymore, we don't know what the developmental implications might be."

Partners each bring a suitcase of prior experiences to a relationship, which may influence what happens in their current relationship, says Haydon.

Haydon’s research also examines the developmental origins of how people behave in their closest relationships. One central question in her work 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. Additionally, Haydon studies how close relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners contribute to developmental outcomes, such as navigating the transition to adulthood.

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