Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Date of this Version



J Res Adolesc. 2016 March 1; 26(1): 142–158


Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons



This study examined prospective associations between the family context and adolescents’ romantic relationships as moderated by adolescents’ gender and culture among Mexican American families (N = 189). Adolescents at Time 1 (early adolescence) were on average 12.29 years of age (SD = .50) and 54% female. Mothers and fathers reported on family structure and dynamics during early adolescence, and youth reported on their romantic relationship involvement and quality during middle and late adolescence. Results from path analyses indicated that family structure and dynamics (supportive parenting, consistent discipline, parent-adolescent, and interparental conflict) were associated with adolescents’ romantic involvement and quality, with differences by adolescents’ gender and culture. Findings highlight Mexican American family contexts that contribute uniquely to adolescents’ romantic relationships.