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Dating Violence and Substance Use as Longitudinal Predictors of Adolescents' Risky Sexual Behavior

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 16 Issue: 6 Dated: August 2015 Pages: 853-861
Date Published
August 2015
9 pages

This study examined dating violence perpetration and victimization (physical, psychological, and sexual) and lifetime substance use (alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs) as longitudinal predictors of adolescents' risky sexual behavior across 1 year; and it determined whether predictors varied across adolescents' gender and ethnicity.


Overall, substance use was a longitudinal predictor of risky sexual behavior across the three ethnic groups (Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic) involved in the study, with physical dating violence victimization being the only type of dating violence longitudinally predicting risky sexual behavior. Prevention efforts should consider the roles of physical dating violence and substance use in preventing risky sexual behavior. Male and female adolescents of the three ethnic groups from seven public high schools in Texas (N = 882) participated in the study. Participants completed self-report measures of dating violence, lifetime substance use, and risky sexual behavior at baseline and 1-year later, completed a second assessment of their risky sexual behavior. Path analysis demonstrated that greater physical dating violence victimization, lifetime alcohol use, lifetime marijuana use, and age (being older) were all significant predictors of risky sexual behavior at the 1-year follow-up. These results did not vary across gender or the three ethnic groups (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2015