The Sequencing of Coupling Events: Ideal and Actual Intimate Experiences of American Adolescents

Anthony Paik, University of Iowa
Vernon Woodley, University of Iowa

How do adolescents negotiate and sequentially order coupling events, such as going out in a group, telling a partner ‘I love you’, exchanging gifts, and engaging in sexual activities (i.e., kissing, petting, and intercourse)? And how does the social context impact the ordering of these events? Using Wave I data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine adolescents’ preferred and actual sequencing of coupling events, using a rarely exploited statistical model in sociology, the rank-ordered logit (Allison and Christakis 1994). We also investigate the correlates of adolescents’ assessments of ideal sequences of coupling events and compare these results with the correlates of actual, negotiated coupling events in their intimate relationships.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being