Prevalence of Romantic Experiences and Competencies Among 14 to 17 Year Olds: Implications for the Primary Care Setting

Jonathon J. Beckmeyer, Debby Herbenick, Tsung Chieh Fu, Brian Dodge, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using data from 600 adolescents (14-17 years old) from the 2015 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, we examined the prevalence and demographic correlates of adolescents’ romantic activities (ie, group dating, dyadic dating, and relationship involvement) and their confidence in avoiding unwanted romantic experiences. Overall, 55.8% of adolescents had engaged in at least one romantic activity. More adolescents reported having gone on dyadic (42.1%) and group (37.3%) dates than had been involved in romantic relationships (32.9%). Age and gender were the most consistent correlates of each romantic activity. Each type of romantic activity becomes more common as adolescents mature. Female adolescents were less likely to report romantic activities. Approximately 25.7% of adolescents were not confident that they could turn down unwanted dates, and 34.3% were not confident that they could end a relationship they no longer wanted to be in. Clinicians can draw on our results when discussing romantic development with their adolescent patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Pediatrics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


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