My Relationships Are My Estate: Relationships with Kin and Voluntary Bonds as Predictors of Happiness Among Emerging Adults

  • Melikşah DemirEmail author
  • IsaBella Vento
  • Rielly Boyd
  • Erin Hanks
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 13)


Emerging adults maintain relationships not only with their primary kin (mother and father) and collateral kin (siblings, aunts, and uncles) but also establish and enjoy voluntary bonds (same-sex and cross-sex friendships and romantic relationships). The current study investigated whether the qualities of voluntary bonds are predictive of happiness when primary and collateral kin relationships are taken into account. This association was investigated separately for men and women among single and dating emerging adults. The quality of voluntary bonds explained unique variance in happiness above and beyond kin relationships among single (n = 543) and dating emerging adults (n = 409). In the single group, relationships explained more variance in happiness among women when compared to men. However, this pattern was flipped in the dating group. While women benefited from multiple relationships in both groups, same-sex friendship was the most important relationship predicting happiness among single and dating men. Although close relationships are reliable correlates of happiness, the conferred benefits of relationships for men and women might depend on relationship status.


Aunts Friendship Happiness Parent-child relationships Romantic relationships Uncles 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melikşah Demir
    • 1
    Email author
  • IsaBella Vento
    • 1
  • Rielly Boyd
    • 1
  • Erin Hanks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA

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