Who Dates? The Effects of Temperament, Puberty, and Parenting on Early Adolescent Experience with Dating: The TRAILS Study
This article focuses on how temperament, pubertal maturation, and perception of parenting behaviors affect the propensity to date in early adolescence (mean age = 13.55). Hypotheses are tested with a representative sample of 2,230 Dutch adolescents, the TRacking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS). The results suggest that adolescents are more likely to have experience with dating when they score higher on the need for high-intensity pleasure, pubertal maturation, and perceived parental rejection. Shyness, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. In addition, a moderation effect is observed such that the more rejecting the parents are perceived to be, the less effect the temperament characteristic of high-intensity pleasure has on dating. Future research should investigate in further detail whether dating could be seen as a way for early adolescents to establish their grown-up status or as a way to compensate for heightened parental rejection.