Adolescent Intimate Heterosexual Relationships: Measurement Issues

Mary B. Short, Marina Catallozzi, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Beth A. Auslander, Susan L. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

8 Scopus citations


During adolescence, individuals develop increased ability to have emotionally and physically intimate relationships. The type of intimate relationship will make a difference as to whether the adolescent engages in protective behaviors or avoids risky behaviors. However, in reviewing the literature on the association of relationship type and sexual risk and protective behaviors, four methodological challenges were noted. These challenges limit our understanding of the impact of relationship type. These four challenges are: (a) inconsistent definitional frameworks; (b) lack of adolescent voices; (c) lack of consideration of gender; and (d) poor differentiation between individual and relationship risk. These issues direct the course of future work in this area and are necessary to advance the field of adolescent sexual health, particularly with regard to the development and testing of appropriate interventions designed to reduce untoward outcomes of adolescent sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Relationship type
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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