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Continuation of Dating It Safe: A Longitudinal Study on Teen Dating Violence

Award Information

Award #
2012-WG-BX-0005
Funding Category
Continuation
Location
Awardee County
Galveston
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2012
Total funding (to date)
$864,072

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $746,181)

The project team is currently conducting a longitudinal study of TDV in a large school-based sample of 1,042 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adolescents from multiple school districts. Participants were recruited and assessed as Freshman/Sophomore high school students in 2010, with follow-up in 2011 and 2012. This study will follow the sample of over 1,000 adolescents/young adults for an additional 3 years (1 assessment per year for 3 years).

The specific aims of this project are to 1) Examine the longitudinal course and associations among the different forms of teen dating violence (physical violence, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse) across multiple teen and young adult relationships; 2) Examine the predictors, contexts, and consequences of TDV perpetration and victimization, including the identification of different developmental trajectories of TDV; 3) Examine how gender, age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity affect the association of predictors of TDV perpetration and victimization; and 4) Test the theory that distal and proximal risk and protective factors from multiple levels of social influence interact to predict TDV over time.

By addressing the limitations of previous research, this comprehensive longitudinal study of TDV will be an invaluable addition to the field, and will make lasting contributions to the development of dating violence prevention and intervention programs. Specifically, this study will identify predictors and consequences of TDV, examine the mechanisms and conditions underlying the etiology and course of TDV, and examine TDV across multiple teen and young adult relationships. ca/ncf

Each year, approximately 25% of US teens and emerging adults sustain physical, psychological, or sexual abuse by dating partners. Many victims of dating violence (DV) experience a host of devastating consequences, including acute and chronic mental and physical health problems, suicidality, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, and academic/occupational failure. Moreover, perpetrators of DV are at increased risk for continuing intimate partner violence in adulthood, and victims are at risk for future victimization and perpetration. The vast majority of what we know about DV is derived from cross-sectional studies, with rare short-term longitudinal studies or long-term longitudinal studies where DV was a secondary focus. Moreover, existing long-term longitudinal studies were conducted on older generations of adolescents. Given the changing landscape of sexuality and intimate relationships, shifting norms in support of aggressive behaviors, and the advent of electronic/social media, a contemporary long-term longitudinal study is critically needed. Our research team is finishing a 7-wave/7-year longitudinal study of DV in a large sample of 1,042 ethnically diverse adolescents/emerging adults. Participants were recruited and assessed as Freshman high school students in 2010, with follow-ups annually from 2011 through 2016. We are proposing to follow our current sample for an additional year while we compete for funding to extend the study by 5 years. When finished, we will have 13 years of rich DV data covering individuals from young adolescence through young adulthood – during a period characterized by identity development and the beginning of dating to one characterized by identity formation and the establishment of more permanent intimate relationships and life trajectories. Specific aims are to 1) Examine the longitudinal course and associations among the different forms of DV (physical violence, psychological abuse, sexual abuse) across multiple teen and young adult relationships; 2) Examine the predictors, contexts, and consequences of DV perpetration and victimization, including the identification of different developmental trajectories of DV; 3) Examine how gender, age, SES, and ethnicity affect the association of predictors of DV perpetration and victimization; and 4) Test the theory that distal and proximal risk and protective factors from multiple levels of social influence interact to predict DV over time. This will be the longest study ever conducted with a primary focus on DV, and provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine trajectories, risk/protective factors, course, and consequences of a wide spectrum of abusive behaviors. Findings will undoubtedly inform the development of critically needed DV prevention and treatment programs. nca/ncf

Date Created: August 29, 2012