Dating violence perpetration and victimization among U.S. adolescents: prevalence, patterns, and associations with health complaints and substance use

Denise L Haynie, Tilda Farhat, Ashley Brooks-Russell, Jing Wang, Brittney Barbieri, Ronald J Iannotti
Journal of Adolescent Health 2013, 53 (2): 194-201

PURPOSE: This research identified conceptually cohesive latent classes of youth dating violence (DV) and examined associations between covariates and classes by gender.

METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 2,203 10th grade students completed assessments of physical and verbal DV victimization and perpetration, depressive symptoms, health complaints, and substance use. A Factor Mixture Model was used to identify patterns of DV. Gender differences among classes were examined for depressive symptoms, health complaints, and substance use.

RESULTS: Prevalence of DV victimization was 35% and perpetration was 31%. A three-class model fit adequately and provided conceptual cohesion: Class 1 = non-involved (65%); Class 2 = victims/perpetrators of verbal DV (30%); and Class 3 = victims/perpetrators of verbal and physical DV (5%). Compared with Class 1 adolescents, those in Classes 2 and 3 were more likely to report depressive symptoms, psychological complaints, and alcohol use. Females in Classes 2 and 3 were also more likely to report physical complaints, cigarette use, and marijuana use. Among females involved in DV, those in Class 3 compared with Class 2 reported more depressive symptoms, physical and psychological complaints, and cigarette and marijuana use.

CONCLUSIONS: The three-class model distinguished involvement in verbal acts from involvement in verbal and physical acts. Adolescents involved in DV had similar probabilities of reporting perpetration and victimization, suggesting violence within relationships may be mutual. Involvement in DV was associated with more health issues and concurrent problem behaviors. For females in particular, the increased involvement in DV was associated with other health indicators.

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