What are the odds: An examination of adolescent interracial romance and risk for depression.

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Byron A. Miller

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Previous studies find that romantic relationships adversely affect adolescents’ psychological well-being, yet none examine the differential effects of adolescent romance for same-race and interracial daters. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), I find that heterosexual adolescents in same-race relationships are more likely to be depressed than non-daters, but interracial daters have greater odds of risk for depression than their non-dating and same-race dating peers. Experiencing a romantic breakup explains the elevated risk of depression for daters in general, and same-race daters specifically, but not interracial daters. Furthermore, the associations that relationship status (dating vs. non-dating) and couple’s racial composition (same-race vs. interracial) have with depression are not moderated by race or gender. The findings highlight the differential effects of same-race and interracial romantic relationships on adolescent’s psychological well-being and the need to further examine the well-being of interracial daters.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.