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A Cultural-Ecological Analysis of Latinas’ Narratives of Teen Dating Experiences


Fordham GSS Assistant Professor Jenn Lilly, Ph.D., has teamed up with two additional GSS Community members to produce new research examining the dating experiences of Latina teens in New York City.

The article, titled “‘¿Y tu novio? Where’s Your Boyfriend?’: A Cultural-Ecological Analysis of Latinas’ Narratives of Teen Dating Experiences,” was published in the Journal of Adolescent Research. Current GSS doctoral student Susan R. Pace and GSS alumnus Maddox Emerick, GSS ’23, served as co-authors. 

According to the article, despite Latina teens representing a large and rapidly growing population in the U.S. that reports high rates of teen dating violence, there is a “dearth of research” examining their dating experiences.

In this study, twenty-five first-, second-, and third-generation immigrant Latinas between the ages of 18 and 23 in the NYC metropolitan area participated in the research. Researchers applied a critical narrative inquiry methodology to conduct in-depth narrative interviews with participants and employed an inductive and iterative analytic process that combined holistic- and categorical-content approaches to identify themes within and across narratives.

The research produced the following themes:

  • cultural expectations and norms
  • parents’ rules and expectations
  • covert relationships
  • violence and control.

“This study’s findings highlight the importance of considering the cultural-ecological context in examinations of Latina teens’ dating experiences, with particular attention to how gendered power dynamics shape Latina teens’ dating experiences across multiple levels,” the paper reads.

Read the full article here. 


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