Mexican American and European American Adolescents' Dating Experiences across the Ecosystem: Implications for Healthy Relationships within an Ecodevelopmental Framework

Heidi Adams Rueda, Julie L. Nagoshi, Lela Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Dating health interventions that target the complex, multi-systemic spheres in which adolescents experience their first romantic relationships are required. This study utilizes an ecodevelopmental approach to better understand Mexican American and European American youths' perceptions of how peers, parents, school, and the media act both independently and collectively to affect their dating lives, also elucidating how such systems are at times in conflict. Seventy-five middle adolescents participated in focus groups divided by gender and ethnicity to uncover differences and similarities within and across groups. Findings underscore the importance and widespread effects of romantic relationships for adolescents' social development and the need for intervention programs that target multiple points of intervention while attending to mesosystemic conflicts across systems. Copyright Taylor & Francis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-376
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Adolescence
  • culture
  • media
  • parenting
  • peers
  • qualitative
  • romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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