JOURNAL ARTICLE

The rate of cyber dating abuse among teens and how it relates to other forms of teen dating violence

Janine M Zweig, Meredith Dank, Jennifer Yahner, Pamela Lachman
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2013, 42 (7): 1063-77
23412689
To date, little research has documented how teens might misuse technology to harass, control, and abuse their dating partners. This study examined the extent of cyber dating abuse-abuse via technology and new media-in youth relationships and how it relates to other forms of teen dating violence. A total of 5,647 youth from ten schools in three northeastern states participated in the survey, of which 3,745 reported currently being in a dating relationship or having been in one during the prior year (52 % were female; 74 % White). Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship said that they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year, with females reporting more cyber dating abuse victimization than males (particularly sexual cyber dating abuse). One out of ten youth said that they had perpetrated cyber dating abuse, with females reporting greater levels of non-sexual cyber dating abuse perpetration than males; by contrast, male youth were significantly more likely to report perpetrating sexual cyber dating abuse. Victims of sexual cyber dating abuse were seven times more likely to have also experienced sexual coercion (55 vs. 8 %) than were non-victims, and perpetrators of sexual cyber dating abuse were 17 times more likely to have also perpetrated sexual coercion (34 vs. 2 %) than were non-perpetrators. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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