Adolescents negotiating romantic relationships in a culturally diverse, urban community

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Cameron, Catherine A.
Luft, Toupey M.
Dmytro, Dana
Kubiliene, Neringa
Chou, Winni
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University of Victoria
In this study we examined the negotiation of romantic relationships by urban youth, as discussed in focus groups, in a multicultural community. We compared these urban-student findings for an emergent fit with previously reported findings from more homogeneous groups of rural students. The unifying category, wrestling with gender expectations, which was identified in the rural studies, also emerged in the present study. A new unifying category represented urban participants’ balancing cultural expectations in the contexts of their families and social groups. Three categories from the former rural studies emerged in the present urban study: making sacrifices, showing respect, and standing up for oneself; and a new category emerged: communicating. While the rural students identified media as critical contextual conditions for romantic relationships, the current urban teens identified digital and social media as crucial contextual conditions in dating relationships. Together, these findings suggest the importance of considering cultural and contextual aspects of youths’ dating processes for developing a grounded theory that reflects aspects of teens’ relational lives. Implications of this emergent theory are explored, and directions for future research are suggested.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) applies
Adolescents , Romantic relationships , Relational processes , Gender , Focused discussions , Culture , Digital social media
Cameron, C. A., Luft, T., Dmytro, D., Kubiliene, N., & Chou, W. (2017). Adolescents negotiating romantic relationships in a culturally diverse, urban community. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 8(1), 1-19. DOI: