JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dating violence and girls in the juvenile justice system

Patricia J Kelly, An-Lin Cheng, Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Elisabeth Martinez
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2009, 24 (9): 1536-51
18768739
The purpose of this study is to explore the prevalence and associated behaviors of dating violence among a population of girls in the juvenile justice system. A sample of 590 girls from an urban juvenile justice system completed a questionnaire assessing attitudes and self-efficacy about and occurrence of dating violence. The analysis developed a random effect model to determine a risk profile for dating violence. The strongest predictors of dating violence were (a) initial sexual experience at age 13 or earlier, (b) unwillingness of initial sexual experience, (c) drug use, and (d) low self-efficacy about preventing dating violence. The high prevalence of dating violence and associated behaviors among participants suggests the importance of implementing primary prevention programs to assist preteen girls in delaying initial sexual intercourse and in learning techniques to prevent dating violence.

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