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Adolescents' Gender Mistrust: Variations and Implications for the Quality of Romantic Relationships


Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403 (


Recent research demonstrates that perceptions of gender mistrust are implicated in lower marriage rates among low-income populations. Yet few quantitative studies have examined the factors predicting gender mistrust during adolescence and whether it influences the quality of subsequent nonmarital romantic relationships. Analysis of three waves of data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (N = 1,106) indicates that in addition to neighborhood poverty rates, parents' own gender mistrust and parent–child relationship quality are related to adolescents' gender mistrust, suggesting that parents play an important role in influencing adolescents' developing feelings of gender mistrust. Perceptions of gender mistrust are not related to whether adolescents are involved in dating relationships, but are linked to higher levels of jealousy and verbal conflict in adolescents' subsequent romantic relationships, albeit only for male adolescents.

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