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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

The Journal of Primary Prevention 6/2014

“If You Don’t Have Honesty in a Relationship, Then There Is No Relationship”: African American Girls’ Characterization of Healthy Dating Relationships, A Qualitative Study

Zeitschrift:
The Journal of Primary Prevention > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
Katrina J. Debnam, Donna E. Howard, Mary A. Garza

Abstract

The quality of dating relationships in adolescence can have long lasting effects on identity development, self-esteem, and interpersonal skills, and can shape values and behaviors related to future intimate relationships. The aims of this study were to: (1) investigate how African American adolescent girls characterize healthy relationships; and (2) describe the meanings of these characteristics in the context of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 12 healthy dating relationship qualities. We conducted semi-structured one-on-one in-depth interviews with 33 African American high school girls in the mid-Atlantic region. Trained staff transcribed interviews verbatim and entered the data into ATLAS.ti for coding and analysis. Participants’ specified and vividly described eight healthy relationship characteristics: good communication, honesty, trust, respect, compromise, understanding, individuality, and self-confidence. Of these characteristics, three (good communication, compromise, and respect) were described in ways discordant with CDC’s definitions. Findings highlight a need to better understand how girls develop values and ascribe characteristics of healthy relationships in order to reduce their risk for teen dating violence.

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