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Project D.A.T.E.: A Review of the Findings on Risky Relationships and Teen Dating Violence Among Low Income/Service-Receiving Adolescents in the Charlottesville Area

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
8 pages
The purpose of Project D.A.T.E. was to identify risk and protective factors related to teen dating violence among a sample of service]receiving, low]income adolescents.

The study included 223 adolescents (58% female) that completed two interviews that took place roughly a year apart. Key findings discovered were: 1) teens carry patterns of aggression learned in earlier relationships into later relationships; 2) early abuse experiences put teens at greater risk for later victimization; 3) most reported acts of physical violence were less severe (e.g. slapping, pushing) as opposed to more severe (e.g. broken bones, hospitalizations); 4) risk factors associated with experiencing a higher frequency of abuse included depression, peer delinquency, partners' offending, and dating a much older partner; and 5) protective factors associated with experiencing a lower frequency of abuse included effective coping strategies, supportive parenting, and quality social support. Overall, despite a high rate of dating abuse in the sample, many teens also perceived their relationships as positive and caring. This suggests a need for further research examining how teens perceive relationship quality and define dating violence. Additionally, future research is needed to explore the context of teens' relationships and include the perspective of both partners.

Date Published: January 1, 2015