A True Love Story: Young people’s romantic and sexual development in the context of everyday life

  • Auteur(s):
    Wieke Dalenberg, Greetje Timmerman, Saskia Kunnen, Paul van Geert
  • Show to public:
    No

As a part of Project STARS (Studies on Trajectories of Adolescent Relationships and Sexuality), the University of Groningen conducted subproject 4: An exploratory diary study about everyday experiences of young people’s romantic and sexual development. Over the course of two years, young Dutch people (n=306; 13-17 years old) reported in a longitudinal mixed-methods (i.e. quantitative and qualitative) diary study about their everyday experiences of their (emergent) romantic and sexual development. The main research question was: How does young people’s (emerging) romantic and sexual development progress, by focusing on adolescents’ everyday experiences, and in what way do everyday conversations with parents play a role in this development? In order to do this, we used an extended definition of sexuality. This article is an overview of the main results of two studies of sub-project 4. In general, results showed that young people are more concerned with romantic aspects of their romantic and sexual development than about explicit sexual acts. The vast amount of romantic expressions in the diaries could guide research and practice so as to incorporate romantic aspects in their studies and sexual health programs.

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