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Profiles of Adolescent Relationship Abuse and Sexual Harassment: a Latent Class Analysis

NCJ Number
Prevention Science Volume: 21 Dated: 2020 Pages: 377–387
Date Published
11 pages

This study aims to identify homogeneous groups of individuals based on self-reported victimization and perpetration of three subtypes of adolescent relationship abuse (ARA; physical, psychological, and sexual) and sexual harassment (SH).


The study sample consisted of 645 current or past-year daters aged 12-21, drawn from the National Survey on Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence (STRiV). Latent class analysis was used to classify individuals, and a three-class model was selected (Low ARA-Low SH, High ARA-High SH, and Psychological ARA-Medium SH). Results provide evidence for three latent classes with varying patterns of ARA and SH. A number of exogenous variables were significantly associated with these patterns, e.g., youth who were previously exposed to any general violence were three times as likely to be in the High ARA-High SH class as those not previously exposed to violence. Adolescent relationship abuse prevention efforts should include activities to address sexual harassment, and vice versa. Results call for universal preventive intervention programs targeting adolescent relationship abuse and sexual harassment to start as early as adolescence, and the existence of the High ARA-High SH group supports the need for more targeted effort to interrupt such patterns. (Publisher abstract provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2020