Relationship Power, Control, and Dating Violence Among Latina Girls

Vera Lopez, Meda Chesney-Lind, Julia Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We drew on the theory of gender and power and grounded theory methodology to explore how 18 Latina girls conceptualized power and control within their heterosexual dating relationships. Our findings indicate that boys/men used a number of strategies to control girls, including: regulating appearances and behaviors; cheating and threatening to cheat; and physical and sexual violence. Girls used a variety of strategies to resist these attempts to control them, including: lying, flirting, and cheating; reactive violence; breaking up; and maintaining emotional distance. Girls attempted to subvert boys' attempts to control them; however, these attempts were not always successful given the constraints of gender that adolescent females must negotiate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-690
Number of pages10
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Latinas
  • adolescent relationships
  • dating violence
  • relationship power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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