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Dating Violence and Physical Health: A Longitudinal Lens on the Significance of Relationship Dynamics and Anti-social Lifestyle Characteristics

NCJ Number
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health Volume: 26 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2016 Pages: 251-262
Date Published
October 2016
12 pages
This article reports on a study that examined the direct association between dating violence and self-rated physical health during adolescence and across the transition to adulthood, and it also addressed potential mediating and confounding factors, including negative relationship dynamics, anti-social lifestyle characteristics, and physical health correlates.

Scholars have documented the significant physical health consequences of intimate partner violence. Yet, because existing research draws primarily on clinical samples of adult women, it is unclear whether exposure to dating violence is related to health detriments among young men and women. Furthermore, data limitations have largely precluded consideration of the mechanisms underlying these previously observed associations. In the current study, longitudinal analyses revealed that dating violence was associated with declines in self-rated physical health across the period from adolescence to young adulthood. This effect, however, was attenuated with the inclusion of negative relationship dynamics. These findings suggest the need to further examine the physical health consequences of dating violence, with a focus on the relationship context and other potential confounding factors. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: October 1, 2016