Advertisement

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
EMPIRICAL RESEARCH

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Dating Adolescent romantic relationship Parent–adolescent relationship Rules 

References

  1. Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67, 3296–3319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barber, B. K. (2002). Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  3. Barber, B. L., & Eccles, J. S. (2003). The joy of romance: Healthy adolescent relationships as an educational agenda. In P. Florsheim (Ed.), Adolescent romantic relations and sexual behavior (pp. 355–370). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Bates, A. (1941). Parental roles in courtship. Social Forces, 20, 483–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berscheid, E., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (1989). The relationship closeness inventory: Assessing the closeness of interpersonal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 792–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Block, J. H. (1983). Differential premises arising from differential socialization of the sexes: Some conjectures. Child Development, 54, 1335–1354.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bloss, P. (1967). The adolescent passage: Developmental issues. New York, NY: International University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, B. B., Bakken, J. P., Nguyen, J., & Von Bank, H. G. (2007). Sharing information about peer relations: Parent and adolescent opinions and behaviors in Hmong and African American families. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development, 116, 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, B. B., & Mounts, N. S. (2007). The cultural context of family-peer linkages in adolescence. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development, 116, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carver, K., Joyner, K., & Udry, J. R. (2003). National estimates of adolescent romantic relationships. In P. Florsheim (Ed.), Adolescent romantic relations and sexual behavior (pp. 23–56). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Crouter, A. C., Bumpus, M. F., Davis, K. D., & McHale, S. M. (2005). How do parents learn about adolescents’ experiences? Implications for parental knowledge and adolescent risky behavior. Child Development, 76, 869–882.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cui, M., & Conger, R. D. (2008). Parenting behavior as a mediator and moderator of the association between marital problems and adolescent maladjustment. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 18, 261–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darling, N., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 487–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Donnellan, M. B., Larsen-Rife, D., & Conger, R. D. (2005). Personality, family history, and competence in early adult romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 562–576.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Driscoll, R., Davis, K. E., & Lipetz, M. E. (1972). Parental interference and romantic love: The Romeo and Juliet effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24, 1–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1985). Children’s perceptions of the personal relationships in their social networks. Developmental Psychology, 21, 1016–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1992). Age and sex differences in perceptions of networks of personal relationships. Child Development, 63, 103–115.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gray, M. R., & Steinberg, L. (1999). Adolescent romance and the parent–child relationship: A contextual perspective. In W. Furman, B. B. Brown, & C. Feiring (Eds.), The development of romantic relationships in adolescence (pp. 235–262). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hayes, L., Hudson, A., & Matthews, J. (2003). Parental monitoring: A process model of parent–adolescent interaction. Behaviour Change, 20, 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hayes, L., Hudson, A., & Matthews, J. (2004). Parental monitoring behaviors: A model of rules, supervision, and conflict. Behavior Therapy, 35, 587–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hendrick, S. (1988). A generic measure of relationship satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 93–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hock, E., Eberly, M., Bartle-Haring, S., Ellwanger, P., & Widaman, K. F. (2001). Separation anxiety in parents of adolescents: Theoretical significance and scale development. Child Development, 72, 284–298.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kan, M. L., McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. (2008). Parental involvement in adolescent romantic relationships: Patterns and correlates. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 37, 168–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Karney, B. R., Beckett, M. K., Collins, R. L., & Shaw, R. (2007). Adolescent romantic relationships as precursors of healthy adult marriages. Arlington, VA: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  25. Kerr, M., & Stattin, H. (2000). What parents know, how they know it, and several forms of adolescent adjustment: Further support for a reinterpretation of monitoring. Developmental Psychology, 36, 366–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Knoester, C., Haynie, D. L., & Stephens, C. M. (2006). Parenting practices and adolescents’ friendship networks. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, 1247–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kobak, R., Rosenthal, N. L., Zajac, K., & Madsen, S. D. (2007). Adolescent attachment hierarchies and the search for an adult pair-bond. New Directions for Child & Adolescent Development, 117, 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ladd, G. W., & Le Sieur, K. D. (1995). Parents and children’s peer relationships. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting, volume 4: Applied and practical parenting (pp. 377–409). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Ladd, G. W., & Pettit, G. S. (2002). Parenting and development of children’s peer relationships. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting, volume 5: Practical issues in parenting (pp. 269–309). Mawwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Larson, R. W., Clore, G. L., & Wood, G. A. (1999). The emotions of romantic relationships: Do they wreak havoc on adolescents? In W. Furman, B. B. Brown, & C. Feiring (Eds.), The development of romantic relationships in adolescence (pp. 19–49). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Leslie, L. A., Huston, T. L., & Johnson, M. P. (1986). Parental reactions to dating relationships: Do they make a difference? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 57–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maccoby, E. E. (1992). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1006–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Miller, B. C., McCoy, J. K., Olson, T. D., & Wallace, C. M. (1986). Parental discipline and control attempts in relation to adolescent sexual attitudes and behavior. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 48, 503–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Modell, J. (1989). Into one’s own: From youth to adulthood in the United States 1920–1975. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mounts, N. S. (2000). Parental management of adolescent peer relationships: What are its effects on friend selection? In J. M. Contreras & A. M. Neal-Barnett (Eds.), Family and peers: Linking two social worlds (pp. 169–193). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  36. Mounts, N. S. (2004). Adolescents’ perceptions of parental management of peer relationships in an ethnically diverse sample. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 446–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mounts, N. S. (2008). Linkages between parenting and peer relationships: A model for parental management of adolescents’ peer relationships. In M. Kerr, H. Stattin, & R. C. M. E. Engels (Eds.), What can parents do? New insights into the role of parents in adolescent problem behavior (pp. 163–190). Malden, MA: Wiley.Google Scholar
  38. Overbeek, G., Vollebergh, W., Engels, R. C. M. E., & Meeus, W. (2003). Parental attachment and romantic relationships: Associations with emotional disturbance during late adolescence. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50, 28–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Carlo, G. (2004). “It’s not fair!” Adolescents’ constructions of appropriateness of parental reactions. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 33, 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Parke, R. D., Killian, C. M., Dennis, J., Flyr, M. L., McDowell, D. J., Simpkins, S. D., et al. (2003). Managing the external environment: The parent and child as active agents in the system. In L. Kuczynski (Ed.), Handbook of dynamics in parent–child relations (pp. 247–269). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  41. Putallaz, M., Costanzo, P. R., & Smith, R. B. (1991). Maternal recollections of childhood peer relationships: Implications for their children’s social competence. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 403–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roisman, G. I., Madsen, S. D., Hennighausen, K. H., Sroufe, L. A., & Collins, W. A. (2001). The coherence of dyadic behavior across parent–child and romantic relationships as mediated by the internalized representation of experience. Attachment & Human Development, 3, 156–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Seiffge-Krenke, I. (2003). Testing theories of romantic development from adolescence to young adulthood: Evidence of a developmental sequence. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 519–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Seiffge-Krenke, I., Shulman, S., & Klessinger, N. (2001). Adolescent precursors of romantic relationships in young adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 327–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Silverberg, S. B., & Steinberg, L. (1990). Psychological well-being of parents with early adolescent children. Developmental Psychology, 26, 658–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Simpkins, S. D., & Parke, R. D. (2002). Maternal monitoring and rules as correlates of children’s social adjustment. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 360–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smetana, J. G., & Asquith, P. (1994). Adolescents’ and parents’ conceptions of parental authority and personal autonomy. Child Development, 65, 1147–1162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smetana, J. G., & Gettman, D. C. (2006). Autonomy and relatedness with parents and romantic development in African American adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 42, 1347–1351.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith, T. E. (1983). Adolescent reactions to attempted control techniques. Journal of Marriage and Family, 45, 533–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Spreadbury, C. L. (1982). First date. Journal of Early Adolescence, 2, 83–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2000). Parental monitoring: A reinterpretation. Child Development, 71, 1072–1085.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: Parent–adolescent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tilton-Weaver, L. C., & Galambos, N. L. (2003). Adolescents’ characteristics and parents’ beliefs as predictors of parents’ peer management behaviors. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13, 269–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. G., Crouter, A. C., & Kupanoff, K. (2001). Parents’ involvement in adolescents’ peer relationships: A comparison of mothers’ and fathers’ roles. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 655–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Waizenhofer, R. N., Buchanan, C. M., & Jackson-Newsom, J. (2004). Mothers’ and fathers’ knowledge of adolescents’ daily activities: Its sources and its links with adolescent adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 348–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Welsh, D. P., Grello, C. M., Harper, M. S., & Florsheim, P. (2003). When love hurts: Depression and adolescent romantic relationships. In P. Florsheim (Ed.), Adolescent romantic relations and sexual behavior: Theory, research, and practical implications (pp. 185–211). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  57. Wood, E., Senn, C. Y., Desmarais, S., Park, L., & Verberg, N. (2002). Sources of information about dating and their perceived influence on adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17, 401–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wyatt, J. M., & Carlo, G. (2002). What will my parents think? Relations among adolescents’ expected parental reactions, prosocial moral reasoning, and prosocial and antisocial behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17, 646–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentMcDaniel CollegeWestminsterUSA

Personalised recommendations