CONTEXT: Preadolescent friendships and early teenage dating relationships have implications for adolescent sexual initiation that may differ by race and gender.
METHODS: Data on participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and their children are used to profile friendship and dating patterns among a sample of youth born to relatively young mothers.
By the late 1990s, approximately 85% of eligible respondents were participating in the survey, including oversamples of black men and women.
Our sample included 1,678 children of female NLSY respondents who were 11-12 years old in 1990, 1992 or 1994.
A unique aspect of the NLSY data is that the relationship information is collected on an ongoing basis and may therefore be less subject to recall error or intentional misreporting.