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A longitudinal examination of teen dating violence from adolescence to young adulthood

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $40,000)

Teen dating violence (TDV), which includes physical, sexual, and psychological aggression, is a prevalent public health problem. Each year approximately 10-25% of teens will perpetrate and be victimized by physical or sexual TDV, with rates even higher for psychological aggression. TDV victimization is associated with increased mental health symptomatology, suicidal ideation, risky sexual behavior, and poor school performance. Unfortunately, theoretically-derived and research-based intervention and prevention programming for TDV is lacking. This is likely due to the fact that research on the onset and stability of TDV, as well as risk and protective factors for TDV perpetration, is poorly understood. Moreover, to-date, research on TDV has also lacked a comprehensive focus on the mental and behavioral health outcomes that are associated with TDV victimization. Finally, minimal research has examined whether gender, age, and ethnicity and race impact the associations between the onset and stability of TDV, risk and protective factors for TDV, and associations between TDV and health outcomes. Thus, the aims of this project include (1) To examine the onset and stability of different forms of TDV perpetration and victimization (physical, psychological, and sexual) across 6 years of adolescence; (2) To examine risk and protective factors for the onset and stability of TDV perpetration across individual (e.g.,substance use; coping skills), family (e.g., parental substance use; parental monitoring),and community (e.g., peer violence) levels over the course of 6 years; (3) To examine mental health (e.g., depression) and behavioral health (e.g., risky sexual behavior)outcomes following TDV victimization over the course of 6 years; and (4) To examine how gender, age, and race/ethnicity affect the onset and stability of TDV, associations between risk and protective factors and TDV perpetration, and the associations between TDV victimization and health outcomes. To examine these aims, the current study will analyze the Dating it Safe dataset, a 6-year, NIJ funded (NIJ #2012-WG-BX-0005), longitudinal study of TDV that included 1,042 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adolescents who began participation in the study at an average age of 15. Having comprehensively assessed different forms of TDV, risk and protective factors, and health variables each year for six years, the Dating it Safe dataset is ideally suited to address the aims of the current study. Through the examination of the rich dataset of Dating it Safe, critical questions pertaining to TDV will be answered, providing crucial information for the development of more effective violence intervention and prevention programs. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 11, 2016