Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403.
Relationship Churning, Physical Violence, and Verbal Abuse in Young Adult Relationships
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2013
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2013
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 75, Issue 1, pages 2–12, February 2013
How to Cite
Halpern-Meekin, S., Manning, W. D., Giordano, P. C. and Longmore, M. A. (2013), Relationship Churning, Physical Violence, and Verbal Abuse in Young Adult Relationships. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 2–12. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01029.x
This article was edited by David H. Demo.
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2013
- relationship processes/dissolution;
- youth/emergent adulthood
Young adults' romantic relationships are often unstable, commonly including breakup –reconcile patterns. From the developmental perspective of emerging adulthood exploration, such relationship “churning” is expected; however, minor conflicts are more common in churning relationships. Using data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (N = 792), the authors tested whether relationship churning is associated with more serious conflict, such as physical violence and verbal abuse. Couples who were stably broken up (breakup only—no reconciliation) were similar to those who were stably together in their conflict experiences. In contrast, churners (i.e., those involved in on/off relationships) were twice as likely as those who were stably together or stably broken up to report physical violence and half again as likely to report the presence of verbal abuse in their relationships; this association between churning and conflict held net of a host of demographic, personal, and relationship characteristics. These findings have implications for our better understanding of unhealthy relationship behaviors.