Romance and the Psychosocial Adjustment of Indonesian Adolescents
The associations between religiosity, popularity, problem behavior, and adolescent romantic involvement were examined with both concurrent regressions and longitudinal cross-lagged models in this three-year longitudinal study of 869 high-school Indonesian Muslim adolescents. A problem behavior construct was formed from three variables (i.e., self-reported tobacco use, self-reported alcohol use, and self-reported deviancy). Religiosity, problem behavior, and adolescent romance were self-reported, and popularity was peer-reported. Indonesian adolescents reported high percentages of romantic involvement across three grades, and their romantic involvement increased with age. In the concurrent analyses, both problem behavior and popularity were positively associated with romance at tenth grade, but the main effect of popularity was significant for girls only. Religiosity was negatively associated with romance for girls at tenth grade. In the cross-lagged models, tenth-grade popularity was positively associated with changes in adolescent romance from tenth to eleventh grade. Bidirectional associations emerged between problem behavior and adolescent romance across three grades. No gender difference emerged in the longitudinal analyses. These patterns of association showed both similarities and differences to those found in the US. This study provides evidence that adolescent romance is intertwined with other aspects of adolescent development in Indonesia, and highlights the importance of exploring the influences of culture on adolescent romance in future studies.