We examined experiences with technology and dating conflict among Mexican American (MA) adolescents (ages 15-17 years) using mixed qualitative methodologies. Focus groups, divided by three levels of acculturation and gender (N = 20), and videotaped observations of couples (N = 34), found that technology (i.e., cell phones, social media) afforded adolescents increased visibility of their partners’ day-to-day peer interactions. Feelings of romantic jealousy resulted in text message harassment and the expectation of immediate technology-facilitated contact. Females were more flirtatious as well as emotionally affected by jealousy resulting from social media sites, and males set rules regarding other-sex texting. Social media was particularly salient among more highly acculturated youth. Online spaces offered an opportunity for outside parties to observe unhealthy relationships and to offer support.
- qualitative methods
- romantic relationships
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science