Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1044–1058 | Cite as

Parents’ Management of Adolescents’ Romantic Relationships Through Dating Rules: Gender Variations and Correlates of Relationship Qualities

  • Stephanie D. MadsenEmail author


This study examined parents’ rules concerning their late adolescents’ dating activities. Participants were mostly European-American, including 165 mothers or fathers and 103 of their children (ages 17–19; 28 sons and 75 daughters). Parents provided information regarding their use of dating rules; rules were coded by type (i.e., supervision, restriction, or prescription) and by the degree of control the rule set provided. Most parents (64%) reported using dating rules, and rules varied by the adolescents and parents’ gender. Rule types were related differentially to qualities of parents and adolescents’ relationships, such that supervision rules reflected a healthy parent–child dynamic and prescription rules related negatively to qualities of parents’ romantic/marital relationships. This study contributes to a growing body of research on parents’ management of adolescents’ peer relationships by expanding the focus from friendships to romantic partnerships.


Dating Adolescent romantic relationship Parent–adolescent relationship Rules 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentMcDaniel CollegeWestminsterUSA

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