Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 133–145 | Cite as

Barriers and Supports to Dating Violence Communication between Latina Adolescents and Their Mothers: A Qualitative Analysis

  • Carla M. ShafferEmail author
  • Rosalie Corona
  • Terri N. Sullivan
  • Vanessa Fuentes
  • Shelby E. McDonald
Original Article


Few Latinx parents and adolescents talk with one another about dating violence, yet communication with parents could help adolescents make better decisions about dating relationships. Seventeen Latina adolescents (15–17 years old) and their mothers living in Washington D.C and central Virginia participated in semi-structured interviews to explore their perceptions of dating violence behavior and communication with parents about dating violence. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed, and coded for emergent themes using a grounded theory approach. Seven themes emerged and were grouped into three domains: (a) Parental Messages about Problems in Dating Relationships; (b) Barriers and Supports for Parent-Adolescent Communication about Dating Problems; and, (c) Cultural Values and Differences. The results of this study can be used to inform future work focused on improving parent-adolescent communication about dating violence and to enhance healthy adolescent Latina dating decisions.


Latinas Family communication Dating Dating violence 



We would like to thank Drs. Faye Belgrave, Pam Kovacs, and Dace Svikis who provided input on the dissertation (C.M.S) from which this manuscript is based. We would also like to thank our community partner, Tanya Gonzalez (Manager, City of Richmond Multicultural Office) who provided input and support for the project. Finally, we’d like to thank the families who shared their thoughts with us by participating in the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This work was supported by a community-engagement grant from the VCU Institute of Women’s Health to Dr. Rosalie Corona.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla M. Shaffer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosalie Corona
    • 1
  • Terri N. Sullivan
    • 1
  • Vanessa Fuentes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shelby E. McDonald
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of AmericaWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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