Primary Sources: What Makes a Child More Likely to Experience Dating Abuse as a Teen?

Photograph of a teen couple holding hands.

Childhood Predictors of Teen Dating Violence Victimization(abstract), Violence and Victims, Vol. 25, No. 2, April 2010.
What it's about: Using data from the Raising Healthy Children project, a multi-year study of about 1,000 children at 10 public schools in a suburban Pacific Northwest school district, the authors traced the relationship between teen dating violence and children’s earlier family life and behavior.
Why read it: The factors that may lead teen boys and girls to become victims of dating violence are not the same. This study starts to tease those differences out.

Biggest takeaway for youth workers: The study’s results suggest that programs that help parents bond with their children and improve children’s social skills may indirectly protect teens from dating violence by enabling them to avoid other related problems. These include drinking, starting fights and suffering from depression and anxiety. In addition, programs for aggressive boys in the early teen years and for young teen girls who drink may reduce the likelihood that these youth experience dating violence as they get older.

Additional reference: Information about the Raising Healthy Children program is available from the Social Development Research Group, in Seattle, WA, which created the program.
(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of this and other publications.)

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