This study investigated the longitudinal relationship between one macro-level factorneighborhood gender equalityand the prevalence of adolescent relationship aggression (ARA) perpetration and victimization among 723 participants (351 males and 372 females) of the Survey on Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence across two waves (2013 and 2016).
Adolescent relationship aggression (ARA) is a serious and common public health problem with many associated adverse health outcomes. Research on risk factors for ARA and resulting programmatic efforts to address the issue have focused primarily on individual-level characteristics, and less so on broader macro-level factors. Controlling for individual demographic characteristics and residential stability, the current study found that male participants living in neighborhoods with higher gender equality were less likely to report perpetrating ARA ( = −0.56; p < 0.05). The study did not detect associations between neighborhood gender equality and perpetration for female participants, nor did the authors detect associations between neighborhood gender equality and victimization for either male or female participants. The findings suggest that ARA perpetration by males is among the myriad of negative impacts of gender inequality and that efforts to address structural gender inequality may also lead to healthier, violence-free intimate relationships among adolescents. The authors discuss suggestions for further research. (publisher abstract modified)