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Abstract

Abstract

Individuals create both personal and culturally shared meaning through narratives; however, sparse research has explored the specific ways in which individuals might use such cultural narratives in creating meaning from developmentally important experiences. In this study, we examine how emerging adults narrate positive romantic relationships, both because emerging adulthood is critical for the development of intimacy and because romantic relationship narratives are pervasive in cultural media. Thematic analysis of 31 narratives from mostly European-descent students attending a private liberal arts university in the Southeast US (mean age 19; 16 self-identified females) revealed three major narrative arcs, and , which varied in coherence, coda, and mutuality of the relationship, but did not differ by gender. Further examination and discussion of these narratives suggest how emerging adults are making sense of their first romantic relationships in ways that inform efforts to educate and intervene to promote healthy and positive relationships.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ni.23001.lev
2023-11-10
2024-05-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: narrative ; master narratives ; emerging adulthood ; romance
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