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BGSU study examines 'relationship churning' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 01 February 2013 10:47
It's a tumultuous time in life - the late teens, early 20s - especially when it comes to relationships. That instability is the focus of a new study from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
"Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and Sex with an Ex" will be published in the March edition of the Journal of Adolescent Research. It was co-authored by former NCFMR postdoctoral fellow Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Dr. Wendy Manning, co-director of the NCFMR; Dr. Peggy Giordano, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, sociology; and Dr. Monica Longmore, a professor of sociology.
The study found approximately 44 percent of emerging adults who have been in a romantic relationship in the past two years experienced at least one reconciliation, which is a breakup followed by a reunion. And more than half (53 percent) of those who experienced reconciliations also reported having had sex with this ex.
Overall, more than one-quarter of the respondents had sex with an ex. Those who had sex with an ex were more likely to be older and in a cohabiting relationship.
Taken together, 48 percent of the total sample experienced some form of relationship "churning," while 24 percent experienced both forms.
Halpern-Meekin noted, "This study shows that there is a lot of fluidity in emerging adults' romantic relationships. They are fairly likely to go through periods of being undefined or in flux. We are still learning what this may mean for young people's well-being and future romantic experiences."

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