The First Romantic Relationship of Adolescents: An International Comparative Analysis

Marcantonio Caltabiano, Università di Padova

An international comparative survey on university students is analyzed, in order to find out factors accelerating or delaying entrance into the first romantic relationship of teenagers. Data are retrospectively collected, distinguishing for ages 11-13, 14-15, 16-18, at interview. Using event history analysis, factors significant from a theoretical viewpoint or noteworthy from literature are tested. For Italy, Japan, Russia, and the USA two models are assessed (for males and females). As Italian sample is wider, complex models are estimated only for Italy, including also unobserved heterogeneity. Variables strongly significant everywhere are: age (with a decreasing hazard after age 18, except for Japan), social control (of both family and school), satisfaction of physical appearance, some aspects of the character (shyness, attitude toward social life…). Moreover, religion plays a complex role in Italy. Finally, unobserved heterogeneity does not play a substantive role, even if it is statistically significant for Italian male.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements