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Res Hum Dev. 2012 Mar 9;9(1):29-53.

"It Takes a Village:" Familial Messages Regarding Dating Among African American Adolescents.

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DePaul University.


There is a dearth of research regarding the influence of family members on adolescent dating. This study explored messages that African American adolescents received from family members regarding dating attitudes, norms and behaviors. Qualitative interviews were conducted with sexually experienced urban African American heterosexual adolescents (N = 51) between the ages of 15-17. Analyses revealed that participants received a diversity of messages from a range of both nuclear and extended family members, and that these messages were organized around three temporal phases of dating: initiation, maintenance, and termination. Types and sources of messages are discussed, as well as implications for intervention development.

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