Adolescent Heterosocial Interactions and Dating

  • David J. Hansen
  • Jeanette Smith Christopher
  • Douglas W. Nangle
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


The transitional period of adolescence is characterized by a number of changes and challenges that occur both within and outside the individual (Petersen & Hamburg, 1986). One of the most significant developmental changes is the emergence of new social interaction patterns (Kelly & Hansen, 1987). Social interactions and relationships become increasingly complicated and adultlike, and more independence and responsibility are required. The peer group becomes larger and more complex, more time is spent with peers, and interactions with opposite-sex peers increase. For example, Csikszentmihalyi and Larson (1984) found that high-school freshman spent 44% of their time in same-sex groups and 4% in opposite-sex dyads, whereas seniors spent 21% of their time in same-sex groups and 24% in opposite-sex dyads. Most adolescents begin dating between the ages of 13 and 15 years (Spreadbury, 1982).


Sexual Behavior Social Anxiety Sexual Intercourse Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Physical Attractiveness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Hansen
    • 1
  • Jeanette Smith Christopher
    • 2
  • Douglas W. Nangle
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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