About Project STARS
Why does one individual have a boy- or girlfriend, while another has never had a crush on someone?
Why do some adolescents start sexual experimentation earlier than others?
What causes some adolescents to have unpleasant experiences while others do not?
Project STARS is a large-scale, national, longitudinal research project on pubertal development, love, romantic relationships, and sexuality among adolescents. The goal of Project STARS is to investigate romantic and sexual development trajectories of adolescents in The Netherlands. The influence of individual characteristics, the proximal (nearby) social context, and the media on this development will also be investigated. Central research questions are:
"How does the romantic and sexual interests, attitudes and behavior or children and adolescents in The Netherlands change as invidividuals mature?”
"What differences are there in these developments between boys and girls, among adolescents with different cultural/ethnic backgrounds, and among adolescents in different educational tracks?”
"What roles do pubertal development, personality, parenting, peers, and internet use play in romantic and sexual development?”
To answer these and other research questions, data will be collected from 1,200 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years, from various cultural/ethnic backgrounds and from different educational levels. These adolescents will be recruited through primary and secondary schools, in both urban and rural areas throughout the country. Project STARS is the first large-scale national research project in The Netherlands to truly look at relational and sexual development. This will be done by following the group of participating adolescents for two years. During these two years the adolescents will fill out four sets of questionnaires and their parents will also be invited to participate. Participating parents will fill out four sets of questionnaires as well. In addition, some adolescents and their parents will also be asked to participate in one of the small-scale in-depth studies that are planned, such as an interview study or a diary study. These in-depth studies will be conducted to provide a more detailed insight into the processes and experiences regarding romantic and sexual development during adolescence.
Design by Remy de Pundert