JOURNAL ARTICLE

Linking dating violence, peer violence, and suicidal behaviors among high-risk youth

Monica H Swahn, Thomas R Simon, Marci F Hertz, Ileana Arias, Robert M Bossarte, James G Ross, Lori A Gross, Ronaldo Iachan, Merle E Hamburger
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2008, 34 (1): 30-8
18083448

BACKGROUND: Gaps in the understanding of how different types of violent behavior are linked have limited the ability to design violence prevention efforts that can address multiple types of violence. The objective of this study was to quantify the associations among suicide attempts, and date and peer violence victimization and perpetration and to determine any differences in these associations by gender.

METHODS: Analyses, computed in 2006 and 2007, used data from the Youth Violence Survey conducted in 2004. This survey was administered to over 80% of public school students in grades 7, 9, 11, and 12 (N=4131) in a high-risk, urban school district. Analyses were restricted to adolescents who dated in the past year (n=2888). Five forms of violent behaviors (i.e., dating violence perpetration, dating violence victimization, peer violence perpetration, peer violence victimization, and suicide attempts) were examined.

RESULTS: Peer violence victimization was the most common type of violence reported (33.0%), followed by date violence victimization (30.7%), peer violence perpetration (29.9%), date violence perpetration (24.8%), and suicide attempts (11.2%). Among all students, 9.8% reported involvement in at least four of the five violent behaviors examined. All five forms of violent behaviors were associated. The highest ORs were observed for victimization and perpetration within either the dating or peer context. However, associations across contexts were also observed.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a substantial overlap among different forms of violent behavior, suggesting that additional research is needed to better understand the factors that contribute to involvement in multiple forms of violence.

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