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Do Substance Use, Psychosocial Adjustment, and Sexual Experiences Vary for Dating Violence Victims Based on Type of Violent Relationships?

NCJ Number
Journal of School Health 86 Volume: 86 Issue: 12 Dated: 2017 Pages: 882-887
Date Published
6 pages
This study examined whether substance use, psychosocial adjustment, and sexual experiences varied for teen dating violence victims by the type of violence in their relationships.

The study compared dating youth who reported no victimization in their relationships with those who reported being victims of intimate terrorism (dating violence involving one physically violent and controlling perpetrator) and those who reported experiencing situational couple violence (physical dating violence absent the dynamics of power and control). A cross]sectional survey was conducted of 3,745 dating youth from 10 middle and high schools in the northeastern United States, one third of whom reported physical dating violence. Generally, teens who experienced no dating violence reported less frequent substance use, higher psychosocial adjustment, and less sexual activity than victims of either intimate terrorism or situational couple violence. In addition, victims of intimate terrorism reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, and anger/hostility compared to situational couple violence victims; they also were more likely to report having sex and earlier sexual initiation. The studyfs overall conclusion is that youth who experienced physical violence in their dating relationships, coupled with controlling behaviors from their partner/perpetrator, reported the most psychosocial adjustment issues and the earliest sexual activity. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2016