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Dating Violence Among Latino Adolescents (DAVILA) Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2013
208 pages
A national sample of Latino adolescents was studied to determine their experiences as victims of violence in dating relationships, including physical, sexual, psychological, and stalking victimization.
The findings suggest that Latino youth have significant comorbid victimization in dating relationships and are most likely to seek informal help from friends rather than formal services. In addition, the role of Latino cultural orientation and social support are apparently important in diminishing victimization risk and the negative impact of interpersonal violence among Latino youth. Known as the DAVILA Study (Dating Violence among Latino Adolescents), it found that among 1,525 Latino adolescents averaging 14.85 years old, the violence-victimization rate in dating relationships was 19.5 percent. Physical dating violence had been experienced by 6.6 percent of the sample; 5.6 percent experienced sexual dating violence; 1 percent experienced stalking by a dating partner. Most of the dating violence victims (70.8 percent), however, had experienced another type of victimization, including conventional crime, child maltreatment, peer/sibling victimization, sexual victimization, and stalking victimization within the past year. Most dating violence victimization was accompanied by peer/sibling victimization (57.3 percent), followed by conventional crime (37.4 percent). Formal help-seeking, most often from school personnel, was received by 15.6 percent of the victims; and informal help-seeking, primarily from friends, was pursued by 60.7 percent of the victims. Regarding victims' cultural characteristics, Latino-oriented youth were less likely to experience dating victimization. Regarding the effects of dating-violence victimization, depression, anxiety, and hostility resulted from each of the various forms of violence. Experiencing dating violence was related to receiving special education services. Experiencing dating victimization also increased a person's likelihood of engaging in delinquency. 1 table and appended screening and survey instruments

Date Published: June 1, 2013