"He cheated on me, I cheated on him back": Mexican American and White adolescents' perceptions of cheating in romantic relationships

Lela Williams, Kristine E. Hickle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

A qualitative approach was used to explore the meaning and perceptions of cheating in adolescent romantic relationships. Mexican American and White adolescents (N = 75; 53.3% girls; 56.1% Mexican American), separated by gender and ethnicity into 12 focus groups (three groups per type), discussed personal and peer experiences of cheating in dating relationships as both the victim and perpetrator. Dialogue was coded using inductive content analysis; two broader cheating themes encompassing six sub-themes emerged 1) perceptions of cheating (individual-oriented, peer-oriented, and frequency of occurrence) and 2) consequences of cheating (commitment, emotional responses, and relationship outcomes). Mexican American girls spoke most frequently and strongly about cheating, followed by White girls. The meaning and contexts of cheating by ethnicity and gender has important implications for promoting healthy dating behavior during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1016
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Infidelity
  • Qualitative
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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