Dating Violence

Teen Dating Violence Literature Review: A Product of the Model Programs Guide
During adolescence, many youths enter their first romantic relationship. In some of these romantic relationships, adolescents may experience teen dating violence, as either a perpetrator or a victim—and many as both. This literature review discusses the research surrounding teen dating violence, including definitions of different types of dating violence, the scope of the problem, risk and protective factors related to perpetration and victimization, short- and long-term consequences, and outcome evidence of programs that seek to prevent or reduce the occurrence of teen dating violence.

Violence Impacts Teens’ Lives
The latest CDC Vital Signs report examines the types of violence experienced by teens age 14 to 18 years old and highlights how experiences of violence are associated with health conditions and risky behaviors. Far too commonly, teens 14 to 18 years old experience violence, often more than one type, such as physical fighting, sexual violence, dating violence, and bullying (2021).

Asymmetrically Committed Relationships
This study compared romantic relationships in which there was a substantial difference in the commitment levels of the two partners to those with more equal levels. Couples who were cohabitating or who had children together were more likely to be in Asymmetrically Committed Relationships (ACRs) than their counterparts. Both more and less committed partners reported lower relationship adjustment, more conflict, and more aggression in their relationships, even when controlling for their levels of commitment; a significant finding given that high levels of commitment usually inhibit conflict and aggression. (2020)

Tinder Tales: Online Dating Users and Their Most Interesting Stories
This article provides a framework for identifying potential risks of online dating applications, highlighting prevention programming that will enhance awareness of problematic online dating behaviors. The framework is based on a study of users and non-users of mobile-based dating applications. Users were significantly different in all measured variables, including rates of negative drinking behaviors, drug use, sexual compulsivity, sexual deception, and negative sexual behaviors. Study responses showed wide negative behaviors for users that include stalking, photo sharing, message sharing, and deception.

When Love and Science Double Date
During the first love-year, serotonin levels gradually return to normal, and the “stupid” and “obsessive” aspects of the condition moderate. That period is followed by increases in the hormone oxytocin, a neurotransmitter associated with a calmer, more mature form of love. The oxytocin helps cement bonds, raise immune function, and begin to confer the health benefits found in married couples, who tend to live longer, have fewer strokes and heart attacks, be less depressed, and have higher survival rates from major surgery and cancer.

Teen Dating Violence: A More Common Issue Than Parents Think

Most people think of domestic abuse as something that happens to adults, and more so, that it involves married couples. But the reality is that abusive teen relationships are much more common than most parents realize. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey looking at teen dating found that 1 out of 11 girls and 1 out of 15 boys have experienced physical dating violence in the past year, and 1 out of 9 girls have experienced sexual dating violence.

Teenage Girls and Dating Violence: Why We Should Be Paying Attention
It’s no secret that intimate partner violence is a leading killer of women in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than half of female homicides are at the hands of a romantic partner. Now it appears that this type of violence is also affecting adolescent girls. (2019)

Sexual Intercourse Precedes Partner Violence in Adolescent Romantic Relationships
This study examined whether psychological or physical violence between adolescent romantic partners is associated with the sexual intercourse status of the couple. The researchers found that violent victimization was more likely to occur in romantic relationships that included sexual intercourse. In relationships characterized by both sexual intercourse and violence, sexual intercourse was significantly more likely to precede violence rather than the reverse, regardless of type of violent act. (2019)

Teen Dating Violence Can Lead To Homicide — Girls Are The Most Common Victims
Domestic violence is common among adults, and women are most frequently the victims. In fact, nearly half of women killed by homicide in the United States are killed by their former or current intimate partners. Now a new study finds that this kind of violence also poses a risk to the lives of adolescent girls. (2019)

Beliefs About Sexual Consent Among High School Students
This report highlights important discrepancies in adolescents’ definition of sexual consent—primarily through verbal consent—and how they behaviorally indicated sexual consent and sexual refusal—primarily through nonverbal actions. (2019)

Teen Boys Report More Dating Violence Than Girls, Perplexing Scientists
Over the past ten years, Canadian researchers have been collecting data on one dark corner of society: teen-dating violence. What they describe in their new study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence may seem surprising, given society’s gender stereotypes. Boys, they show, are victims of personal dating violence, and in some cases are more often so than girls. (2018)

The Preventable Problem that Schools Ignore
Educators are ill-equipped to help victims of dating violence. Nearly 1.5 million high-school students in the U.S. are physically abused by dating partners ever year. 35 percent of 10th-graders have been abused by dating partners and a similar percentage are perpetrators of such abuse. Greatest risk students are from low-income backgrounds, marginalized racial and ethnic groups, and LGBTQ students.
Adolescents who experienced teen dating violence were more likely to report being bullied on school grounds and missing school due to feeling unsafe. Victims are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and consider suicide – negatively affecting academic achievement. (2018)

The Cost & Consequences of Sexual Violence in California
Families, friends, partners, neighbors, and co-workers know first-hand the time and resources necessary to recover from sexual violence. However, never before has there been a comprehensive quantitative analysis of both tangible and intangible costs to the state resulting from the utterly preventable crime of rape. The cost of sexual violence is high $140 billion. (2018)

Sextortion of Minors: Characteristics and Dynamics
This reports describes sextortion incidents (threats to expose sexual images to coerce victims to provide additional pictures, sex, or other favors) from a large sample of 1,385 victims. Sextortion incidents were serious victimizations, and often co-occurred with teen dating violence. This report describes resources so that practitioners can help victims find support and legal advice and remove posted images. (2018)

Digital Dating Abuse Especially Bad for Girls
Teens expect to experience some digital forms of abuse in dating, but girls may be suffering more severe emotional consequences than boys, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Michigan and University of California-Santa Barbara examined the impact of gender on high schoolers’ experience of digital dating abuse behaviors, which include use of cell phones or internet to harass, control, pressure or threaten a dating partner. (2017)

The Effects of Relationship Education on Adolsescent Traditional Gender Role Attitudes and Dating Violence Acceptance
This study examined change in adolescents’ traditional gender role attitudes and dating violence acceptance following completion of Relationship Smarts PLUS.  A significant decrease in traditional gender role attitudes was found for both boys and girls following relationship education, with a steeper decline in traditional gender role attitudes for boys than girls over time. Although there were no significant changes in dating violence acceptance, change in traditional gender role attitudes was correlated with change in dating violence acceptance, such that moving toward more egalitarian attitudes was associated with a decrease in acceptance of dating aggression/violence. (2017)

Aggression in Twentysomethings’ Relationships
A number of studies show that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience physical aggression in their relationships than married couples. Two studies shed light on this subject by exploring how aggression in the relationships of individuals (mostly) in their 20s is associated with various commitment dynamics. (2017)

Men and Women May Define Sexual Assault Differently
Women were more likely to see certain behaviors as sexual assault. For example, 72 percent of women called “watching someone in private without their knowledge or permission” assault, compared with just 56 percent of men. Similarly, 79 percent of women would consider “sexual intercourse where one of the partners is pressured to give consent” to be assault compared to just 67 percent of men. And awareness of verbal harassment was low among men (48 percent) and particularly among young men ages 18 to 34 (46 percent). (2017)

Teen Dating Violence Strong Predictor of Future Domestic Abuse
A study conducted by the University of Calgary is the first to demonstrate, in a U.S. national sample, that adolescent dating violence is related to a cycle of violence from teen to adulthood. The study serves as a wake-up call that dating violence amongst teens needs to be taken more seriously. (2017)

Dating Violence Associated with Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs
Researchers have found links between teen dating violence and nonmedical use of prescription drugs. However, males and females experience this violence differently. Previous research has shown dating violence is associated with risky behaviors, but studies linking it to NMUPD have been limited. (2017)

1 in 7 Young Teens Is a Stalking Victim: Survey
About one out of seven children in 6th and 9th grades has been a victim of stalking, potentially boosting their risk of substance abuse, dating violence and other dangers, a new U.S. survey finds. The research doesn’t confirm that being stalked makes it more likely that a teenager will do risky things or become a victim in other ways. But the findings do raise the prospect that stalking among teens is a hazard beyond the fear and danger that it creates. (2017)