Major and Classification
- Miranda Barone, Ph.D.
Dating during adolescence is correlated with the development of interpersonal skills including sharing, intimacy, communication, and negotiation as well as the establishment of future healthy relationships. In the academic setting, minority students seeking mates within their race may be unable to date due to a scarcity of potential partners. The current research investigated ethnic differences in the dating scene at the University of Southern California. One hundred-twenty undergraduates from USC completed a survey evaluating attitudes towards dating on campus. The survey featured the Dating Anxiety Scale – Adolescents (DAS-A) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results demonstrate that infrequent dating is related to high dating anxiety in Asians (r = -.530, p = .05). Amongst Blacks, however, perceiving few dating mates on campus is related to higher dating anxiety, specifically fear of negative evaluation (r = .456, ?=.05) and dating anxiety in dating situations (r = .467, ?=.05). In addition, results reveal a positive correlation between high dating anxiety and low self-esteem for all racial groups except Asians; as dating anxiety increases one’s self-esteem decreases, with Whites (r=-.820, p = .01) and Latinos (r=-.814, p = .01) exhibiting the strongest correlation between increased fear of negative evaluation and low self-esteem. The results reveal ethnic differences in the experience of dating anxiety and attitudes towards dating on the college campus. Future research should examine ethnic differences in dating anxiety because issues concerning dating may impede one’s adjustment and satisfaction on the college campus. This research can offer campus providers insight into a social issue that may hinder the adjustment of ethnic minorities onto the college campus.