Perpetration of teen dating violence in a networked society

Josephine D Korchmaros, Michele L Ybarra, Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Danah Boyd, Amanda Lenhart
Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking 2013, 16 (8): 561-7
Teen dating violence (TDV) is a serious form of youth violence that youth fairly commonly experience. Although youth extensively use computer-mediated communication (CMC), the epidemiology of CMC-based TDV is largely unknown. This study examined how perpetration of psychological TDV using CMC compares and relates to perpetration using longer-standing modes of communication (LSMC; e.g., face-to-face). Data from the national Growing up with Media study involving adolescents aged 14-19 collected from October 2010 to February 2011 and analyzed May 2012 are reported. Analyses focused on adolescents with a history of dating (n=615). Forty-six percent of youth daters had perpetrated psychological TDV. Of those who perpetrated in the past 12 months, 58% used only LSMC, 17% used only CMC, and 24% used both. Use of both CMC and LSMC was more likely among perpetrators who used CMC than among perpetrators who used LSMC. In addition, communication mode and type of psychological TDV behavior were separately related to frequency of perpetration. Finally, history of sexual intercourse was the only characteristic that discriminated between youth who perpetrated using different communication modes. Results suggest that perpetration of psychological TDV using CMC is prevalent and is an extension of perpetration using LSMC. Prevention should focus on preventing perpetration of LSMC-based TDV as doing so would prevent LSMC as well as CMC-based TDV.

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