Early partner choices of immigrants: The effect of preferences, opportunities and parents on dating a native

P.I. van Zantvliet, M. Kalmijn, E. Verbakel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on the partner choices of immigrant adolescents who are involved in a romantic relationship. We formulate hypotheses about the effect of immigrants' preferences, parental influence and structural effects of the school and neighbourhood on the likelihood of dating a native partner versus a non-native partner. Using unique data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries (CILS4EU) which was conducted in over 100 schools in each country among adolescents of around 14-year-old and their parents (n = 1896), we show, first, that more conservative immigrant adolescents are less likely to date a native partner. In addition, parental influence is demonstrated by gender-specific effects of religious background and by positive effects of parents' social and structural integration. Meeting opportunities with natives at school and in the neighbourhood are prominent factors in explaining the choice of dating a native partner.
Keywords: Dating, Immigrants, Partner Choice, Adolescence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-794
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Partner Choice
  • Dating
  • Immigrants
  • Adolescence

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