244766 Early adolescents' expectations of monitoring and control in romantic relationships

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dana L. Watnick, MPH, MSSW , Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Angelic Rivera, MPH, CHES , Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health, Bronx, NY
Ellen Johnson Silver, PhD , Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Caryn R. R. Rodgers, PhD , Preventive Intervention Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Jamie Heather Sclafane, MS, CHES , Preventive Intervention Research Center for Child Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Laurie J. Bauman, PhD , Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Background: Monitoring and controlling (M&C) behaviors within romantic relationships are warning signs for potential abuse and violence. Little is known about attitudes toward M&C behavior in early adolescents, and if there are differences among subgroups. In part this may be due to the lack of reliable indicators. Design/Methods: We analyzed baseline survey data from the first 128 participants recruited for a longitudinal study from school-based clinics affiliated with Montefiore Medical Center. Participants were 12-14 year old English-speaking residents of the Bronx, NY. Participants responded to 4 items about M&C behavior in relationships using a 4-point Likert scale. Items were summed; higher scale scores indicated higher expectations for M&C relationship behavior. Results: Participants agreed or strongly agreed that they expected to check their partner's private messages(28%); to give up their same-sex friends(11%); to give up their opposite-sex friends(10%); and would expect a partner to always want to know their whereabouts(51%). Scale scores ranged from 4-13; Mean= 7.23 (SD=2.37). Internal consistency reliability was moderate, Cronbach's alpha of .64. Scale scores did not differ significantly by gender, race or relationship experience. However, 12 yr olds were significantly more likely than 14 yr olds to expect monitoring within a romantic relationship. (mean=8.00; SD=2.57 vs. mean=6.63; SD=2.27) (P<.05). Conclusions: Preliminary Analyses indicate the potential for measuring expectations of M&C behavior among early adolescents with a 4-item scale. This is an important construct to measure because it may indicate a romanticism of unhealthy relationship behavior that should be addressed in interventions with this population.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
(1) Describe a scale developed to measure early adolescentsí expectations of monitoring and controlling behavior in romantic relationships (2) Explain how the expectation of monitoring behavior differs among subgroups of early adolescents

Keywords: Adolescents, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Director of this study and developed the scale that we are reporting on, in collaboration with a few of the co-authors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.