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Mexican American Female Adolescents’ Perceptions of Relationships and Dating Violence


Dr. Kristin Haglund, Marquette University, College of Nursing, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881. E-mail:


Purpose: This study fills a gap regarding the perspectives of Mexican American female adolescents on dating relationships and dating violence (DV).

Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study. Focus groups included 20 Mexican American young women, primarily first and second generation, mean age 14.5 years (SD= 2.5). Data were analyzed with categorical analysis.

Findings: Participants described key components of DV and identified cultural aspects that may serve to promote healthy dating relationships.

Conclusions: Family-based interventions to promote exploration of gender roles and parent-child communication may foster biculturalism as well as promote healthy dating relationships and prevent violence within this cultural group.

Clinical Relevance: In the United States, 10% to 40% of teens experience DV. Hispanic females experience more physical DV than their White peers.