Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

August 2005


Published in Journal of Adolescence 28:4 (August 2005), pp. 559-572; doi 10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.04.001. Copyright © 2005 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents Published by Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Latino college students (M age = 21.4 years) completed self-report surveys assessing adolescent dating experiences. Compared to young men (n = 69), young women (n = 97) had more limitations placed on them by parents as adolescents and began dating later. No gender difference in timing of the first serious relationship emerged. More young women had their first relationship with a Latino, and having a Latino boyfriend was associated with older partner age. In multivariate analyses, parental level of education was a stronger correlate of early dating experiences than generational status, and stronger findings emerged for young women than young men. The findings highlight the salience of gender as an organizer of early dating experiences among Latino adolescents.