Entries in teenagers (7)


Let’s Talk about Tech and Teen Relationships  

American teens spend a lot of time with their smartphones, and their interest in their phones may only be superseded by their interest in forming romantic relationships. Anytime you have two really important aspects of life intersecting, there is the potential for some really interesting data. Researchers at the Pew Research Center wanted to learn how teens use technology in their romantic relationships to meet, flirt and communicate.1 To get some answers, in late 2014 and early 2015 researchers conducted a national survey as well as several online and in-person focus groups of 1,060 American teens (aged 13-17).

Although the common assumption is that this technology has changed how teens deal with their romantic relationships. Let’s see what the data say…

Click to read more ...


Social Influence and Teen Sex: What Matters and What Doesn’t

American parents often worry that their adolescent children are susceptible to their friends’ influence and will be pressured into having sex before they are ready to do so. Are these worries justified? 

Past research has found that social influence is associated with behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use among teenagers. A recent study extended this work and investigated whether three types of social influence predict adolescent sexual behavior...

Click to read more ...


Unplugging to Reconnect this Summer 

When I was young, family vacations involved long road trips, my Walkman, 3 cassette tapes (usually Michael Jackson, Eddie Grant, and early U2 in heavy rotation), and the alphabet game. In many ways, these trips resembled the classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, which may explain why the movie has always been a favorite of mine. Fortunately, my family never had to drive across the country with a dead grandmother on the car roof, but I always empathized with Rusty and Audrey’s unrelenting boredom on their ride from Chicago to Wally World in LA.  

Click to read more ...


Teens in Love Stay Out of Trouble: Not All Teen Sex Is Created Equal

A recent study of over 500 teenaged same-sex twin pairs suggests there may be a hidden benefit of being a lovesick teen. Teenagers that have sex with a romantic partner engage in fewer delinquent behaviors than do teens that have sex outside of a relationship (i.e., “hooking up”). In other words, teens spending more time with a boyfriend or girlfriend leaves them less time to get into trouble. 

Harden, K., & Mendle, J. (2011). Adolescent sexual activity and the development of delinquent behavior: The role of relationship context. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(7), 825-838. doi:10.1007/s10964-010-9601-y


Teenagers: Perhaps Not as Evil as You Think

Researchers had teenagers and their parents read about situations in which the parents asked their kids for help, requiring the kids to give up their own plans with friends. Parents and teenagers agreed that the teenagers should help their parents, particularly when the parents really needed the help.  In situations where the parental request for help was not particularly urgent, however, the teenagers reported feeling more responsibility to help than the parents thought they should. 

Smetana, J. G., Tasopoulos-Chan, M., Gettman, D. C., Villalobos, M., Compione-Barr, N., & Metzger, A. (2009). Adolescents’ and parents’ evaluations of helping versus fulfilling personal desires in family situations. Child Development, 80, 280-294.

image source: blog.bluemountainlodges.ca


Our Take on "There’s Nothing Brief About a Hookup": The Devil is in the Details

A recently published op-ed by Dannah Gresh on CNN.com makes the controversial argument that “there’s nothing brief about a hookup” (read the full op-ed here). As of posting, Gresh’s op-ed, which supposedly draws on scientific evidence to support her conclusion that casual sex is unhealthy, has inspired over 800 comments and some heated debate, much of it centered around Gresh’s admission near the end of the op-ed that:

"In the interest of full disclosure, my motivation here is my Christian faith. I believe sex to be an incredible gift from God, meant to transcend the physical to discover something emotional and spiritual with another person.

But since my faith may alienate some of you from my message, I ask you not to think too hard about religious differences. Stick to the facts."

Here at ScienceOfRelationships.com we are always encouraged when we see articles on relationships (and sex) that incorporate scientific evidence, but we are admittedly wary when there is reason to believe the interpretation of those scientific data might be distorted by an underlying agenda. Thus, we took it upon ourselves to do just what Gresh requested: Stick to the facts. After careful scrutiny of her arguments, and review of the empirical work she cites as support for her conclusions, we have identified three important ways that Gresh either overstates or misuses specific research findings. Below, we identify and provide an examples of instances where the facts do not support the claim.

Click to read more ...


Do Happy Teens Divorce More?

A recent article indicates teenagers who were most happy were also more likely to divorce as adults. But remember: correlation doesn't equal causation! It's probably the case that teenage happiness is associated with the self-confidence, support, and enpowerment to leave bad relationships as an adult; not that happiness itself causes divorce.

Click here to read more about these findings on the HuffingtonPost.com.

Richards, M., & Huppert, F. A. (2011). Do positive children become positive adults? Evidence from a longitudinal birth cohort study. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6, 75-87.