Psychology journal on teen dating
The diary entries of the adolescent love birds showed they had more positive morning and evening moods than the controls, shorter sleep times but better quality sleep, lowered daytime sleepiness and better concentration during the day. Falling in love takes some getting used to, all those different emotions, mood swings, needs and desires. Research has not yet caught up with the long-term implications of these new ways of courting, but it does seem that falling in love and romantic relationships are still part of the developmental timetable for many adolescents. The US-based National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), involving a representative sample of thousands of school children in Grades 7 to 12, found that over 80 per cent of those aged 14 years and older were or had been in a romantic relationship, including a small number (2–3 per cent) in same-sex relationships (Carver et al., 2003; Grieger et al., 2014). Many of these relationships were short term, especially among younger adolescents, but a significant number were a year or more in duration. Adrenaline is a stress hormone, causing sweating, heart palpitations and dry mouth – just catching a glimpse of the new love can trigger these bodily sensations.
Their finding that levels were similarly heightened in the two groups led these researchers to conclude that serotonin level is associated with those constant thoughts about the loved one that are part of being ‘love struck’. Would you assume that there is something bad or wrong with that person that makes people not want to go out with them? Some feel they are not ready, some want to concentrate on their studies or sport, others are more tempted by the casual sex culture of temporary ‘hook-ups’. Nevertheless, most adolescents begin their sexual lives within the context of a romantic relationship and generally, involvement in romantic relationships in adolescence is developmentally appropriate and healthy (Collins et al., 2009). Falling in love is an emotional upheaval at any age, but for adolescents the feelings are likely to be even more difficult to manage. Perceptions and experiences of first sexual intercourse in Australian adolescent females. It’s not only the sex hormones that are involved in falling in love. Ortigue and his colleagues (2010) used brain imaging to show that when a person falls in love, 12 areas of the brain work in tandem to release euphoria-inducing chemicals such as dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin.