Teens experience both sides of dating violence

May 15, 2013 by Joan Macdonald
Teens experience both sides of dating violence

Teens in a relationship that involves dating violence are likely to be both a victim and perpetrator, as opposed to being just one or the other, finds a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. In some situations teens play both roles with one partner or they'll play one role in a given relationship and then another role in a subsequent relationship.

"The violence in a relationship can be mutual, in that both partners engage in some ," said lead researcher Denise L. Haynie, Ph.D, M.P.H. "Or it could be a learned behavior, so that someone who is victimized in one relationship perpetrates in another."

The study examined data collected from 2,203 students from 80 schools, beginning in 10th grade and continuing through the end of high school and into college or the work force. Teens were asked whether their boyfriends or girlfriends had called them names or insulted them, swore, threatened them, pushed or shoved them or threw something that could hurt them. They were also asked if they had engaged in these acts.

About 35 percent reported being the victim of dating violence and 31 percent reported being perpetrators during the study period.

"It is consistent with other literature on dating violence among adolescents to find that boys experience dating violence at similar rates as girls and for girls to perpetrate at similar rates as boys," said Haynie. "This is in contrast with what is known about among adults, where women report more frequent victimization."

Aggression in teen relationships may represent a pattern of escalation where it soon becomes hard to differentiate between victim and , say the researchers.

In the study, both boys and girls experiencing dating violence reported an increase in psychological complaints and . Girls involved in dating violence also reported more than girls not involved in .

"More research is needed but right now the best advice is to help teens understand what a healthy relationship looks like and what to do if it's not going well. Adolescents entering the world of dating are just learning how to negotiate romantic relationships and how to manage conflict," said Deinera Exner-Cortens, MA, M.P.H., and a fourth year doctoral candidate in human development at Cornell University. "That's where a program on healthy relationships is vital for both teen boys and girls."

Explore further: One-third of dating teens report violence in their relationships

More information: Haynie, D. et al. (2013). Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization Among U.S. Adolescents: Prevalence, Patterns, and Associations With Health Complaints and Substance Use. Journal of Adolescent Health; 1-8

Related Stories

One-third of dating teens report violence in their relationships

January 21, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Nearly a third of those dating in middle and high school report abusive relationships, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. The dating violence, which the researchers first measured ...

Dating violence in teen years can have lasting impact

December 10, 2012
(HealthDay)—Teenagers who experience dating violence could be more likely to get involved in violent relationships and have health problems as young adults, a new study suggests.

When teen dating turns abusive and violent

May 10, 2013
(HealthDay)—When teens start dating, parents' worries grow—and experts say that dating violence should be on their list of concerns.

Same-sex relationships pose abuse risks, too

May 10, 2013
(HealthDay)—Though many teens find it difficult to talk about dating violence or abuse, the shroud of secrecy may be even harder to get through for same-sex couples.

Researchers find parent-child violence leads to teen dating violence

March 26, 2013
Teens today are involved in intimate relationships at a much younger age and often have different definitions of what is acceptable behavior in a relationship. Violence is something that is all too common and according to ...

Recommended for you

Heart rate study tests emotional impact of Shakespeare

July 26, 2017
In a world where on-screen violence has become commonplace, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company is turning to science to discover whether the playwright can still make our hearts race more than 400 years on.

Talking to yourself can help you control stressful emotions

July 26, 2017
The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people ...

Do all people experience similar near-death-experiences?

July 26, 2017
No one really knows what happens when we die, but many people have stories to tell about what they experienced while being close to death. People who have had a near-death-experience usually report very rich and detailed ...

Risk for bipolar disorder associated with faster aging

July 26, 2017
New King's College London research suggests that people with a family history of bipolar disorder may 'age' more rapidly than those without a history of the disease.

Visual clues we use during walking and when we use them

July 25, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers with the University of Texas and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has discovered which phase of visual information processing during human walking is used most to guide the feet accurately. ...

Toddlers begin learning rules of reading, writing at very early age, study finds

July 25, 2017
Even the proudest of parents may struggle to find some semblance of meaning behind the seemingly random mish-mash of letters that often emerge from a toddler's first scribbled and scrawled attempts at putting words on paper.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.