This article reports on research that examined the associations between substance use, sexual behaviors, deviant behaviors, self-reported health, and cyber dating abuse perpetration.
Dating violence is an important public health concern and is considered to be a form of school violence. Although digital technologies have enabled perpetrators of dating violence to target their victims online (cyber dating abuse), little is known about how this form of perpetration relates to specific adolescent risk behaviors. In addressing this research gap, the current study examined relevant experiences of 705 ethnically diverse adolescents (n = 408; 57.9 percent female) in Southeast Texas. The study found that having had sexual intercourse or using alcohol or drugs before having sex was significantly linked with cyber-dating abuse perpetration, as was poor physical health and substance use. Consistent with limited research, a link was found between cyber dating abuse and engagement in bullying behaviors. The discussion section includes suggestions for school nurse practice and further research. (Publisher abstract modified)
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