Italian adolescents’ first romantic relationships: an explorative study
Recently collected retrospective data (from 2000-2001) on Italian university students are analyzed to find out the most significant factors that accelerate or delay the entrance into a first couple rela-tionship for teenagers. Intensity regression analysis is used to test factors that either proved to be noteworthy from previous analyses or are supposed to be significant from a theoretical point of view. Unobserved heterogeneity is included in the model to take into account the characteristics of individuals that are not measured or that are not measurable. The following results arise: age is highly significant, with a decreasing hazard after age 19. The influence of family, a strong institu-tion in Italy, is noticeable. Poor communication with parents is negatively associated with entrance into the first romantic relationship while tolerance of a son’s behaviors is positively associated.. The social life of a young person also shapes this event: shyer adolescents had a lower relative risk compared to their contemporaries who had many leisure interests and a wider friendship network. As expected, lower satisfaction with self-appearance exerts a negative weight on the hazard. Fi-nally, unobserved heterogeneity is not found to be significant in the model.
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