Romantic breakup distress in university students: A narrative review


Romantic breakup distress in university students: A narrative review


Tiffany Field

University of Miami School of Medicine; Fielding Graduate University


Psychiatric Research and Reviews1

This narrative review of literature on romantic breakup distress and recovery includes studies on the effects of this distress, risk and protective factors for breakup distress and interventions. The effects include sadness, anger and broken heart syndrome. The risk factors for breakup distress include being the “dumpee” versus the “dumper”, internet surveillance of the “dumper”, having been in a spiritual relationship, intrusive thoughts, an orientation towards future relationships or a fear of being single, having the relationship as part of your identity or your self-worth and experiencing social constraints like criticism. Protective factors include having been more committed to the relationship and then continuing to experience closeness in that relationship but also having a rebound relationship. Effective interventions include a writing task describing the breakup, online group discussions of the breakup and tryptophan for its serotonin-enhancing properties. Limitations of this literature include lack of generalizability from the mostly female university student samples and potentially biased self-report data.


Keywords: Rromantic breakup distress, university students


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How to cite this article:
Tiffany Field. Romantic breakup distress in university students: A narrative review. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2020, 3:30. DOI: 10.28933/ijprr-2020-01-2406


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