Romantic competence, healthy relationship functioning, and well-being in emerging adults

Joanne Davila*, Jonathan Mattanah, Vickie Bhatia, Jessica A. Latack, Brian A. Feinstein, Nicholas R. Eaton, Jennifer S. Daks, Shaina A. Kumar, Edward F. Lomash, Melody Mccormick, Jiaqi Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A skills-based model of healthy relationship functioning—romantic competence (RC)—is described. Its association with relationship and individual well-being was examined in three studies of emerging adults using the Romantic Competence Interview for Emerging Adults (RCI–EA), which measures competence as the interplay of three skill domains. Across studies (women [n = 102], women and men [n = 187], romantic couples [n = 89]), RC was associated with greater security, healthier decision making, greater satisfaction, and fewer internalizing symptoms. The RCI–EA skill domains formed a latent factor and were associated with self-reports reflective of RC, supporting the construct's validity. The RC construct may thus provide a theory-driven, overarching way to characterize healthy romantic functioning that can reduce negative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-184
Number of pages23
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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