This study on the impact of parent-child closeness and romantic attachment on dating violence perpetration in adolescence found that dating violence interventions may benefit from targeting aspects of parent–child relationships.
The findings of this study on the impact of parent-child closeness and romantic attachment on dating violence perpetration in adolescence suggest that dating violence interventions may benefit from targeting aspects of parent–child relationships. The study found that romantic attachment anxiety, but not attachment avoidance, significantly mediated the relationship between low perceived closeness with parents and the perpetration of physical and psychological dating violence in late adolescence. Past research has demonstrated that romantic attachment insecurity is a risk factor for dating violence in adolescence. However, few studies to date have longitudinally examined whether earlier relational experience, such as perceived closeness with parents, may serve as an antecedent of this relationship. To examine longitudinal associations among youths’ perceived closeness with parents, romantic attachment insecurity, and perpetration of dating violence in adolescence. Adolescents (N = 1016) were recruited from seven public high schools in south Texas and reported on their perceived closeness with parents, romantic attachment styles, and perpetration of physical and psychological dating violence at three assessments between 2010 and 2014. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Multi-group analyses showed the mediation model only held for females but not males, and for Hispanic youth but not for Non-Hispanic White, African American, and youth of other races and ethnicities. Through its link to romantic attachment anxiety, perceived closeness with parents could play an important role in the perpetration of dating violence in adolescence, especially for girls and Hispanic youth.
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