Gary Glick, Assistant Professor of Psychology, gave a research talk at the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands on January 12th, 2018.
Communication and social skills in the close relationships (e.g., romantic relationships, friendships) of adolescents and young adults is a major focus on Dr. Glick’s research. His talk focused on communication patterns in early romantic relationships, specifically communication withdrawal, defined as a lack of open verbal dialogue between relationship partners. Partners who exhibit higher levels of communication withdrawal in video-recorded conflict tasks report less satisfying relationships, even among high school students. Further, wanting a partner to use birth control or contraceptives was linked to higher levels of communication withdrawal. “Communication in early romantic relationships is very challenging,” reported Glick, “young people have no preparation for discussing topics such as contraceptive use and sexual consent in their relationships with other, non-romantic peers. We need to do more to educate them on how to have these difficult, though important, conversations. The research is telling us that many young Americans are currently not equipped to do this.”