JOURNAL ARTICLE

Correlates of cyber dating abuse among teens

Janine M Zweig, Pamela Lachman, Jennifer Yahner, Meredith Dank
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2014, 43 (8): 1306-21
24198083
Recent advancements in technology (e.g., social networking, texting) have created new ways for dating youth to relate to one another, including in abusive ways via "cyber dating abuse." Cyber dating abuse is a form of teen dating violence that overlaps with other types of abuse (e.g., psychological) but also has several unique characteristics. Given the phenomenon's limited presence in dating violence literature, we focus on identifying how experiencing cyber dating abuse relates to youths' individual behaviors and experiences (e.g., substance use, sexual activity), psychosocial adjustment, school connection, family relationships, and partner relationships. A total of 3,745 youth (52% female, 74% White) in three northeastern states participated in the survey and reported currently being in a dating relationship or having been in one during the prior year. We found that experiences of cyber dating abuse were most significantly correlated with being female, committing a greater variety of delinquent behaviors, having had sexual activity in one's lifetime, having higher levels of depressive symptoms, and having higher levels of anger/hostility. Further, cyber dating abuse appeared somewhat more strongly related to depressive symptoms and delinquency than did other forms of teen dating violence and abuse.

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