Adolescent dating violence victimization and psychological well being
A total of 730 subjects were randomly sampled from university registrar records and invited to complete an online survey, which utilized methods similar to the timeline follow-back interview, to retrospectively assess relationship histories and dating violence victimization from age 13 to 19 (eight questions adapted from widely-used surveys covering physical, sexual, and psychological abuse).Then, for each dating violence type, we asked about the number of occurrences, number of abusive partners, and age at first occurrence.Of 341 subjects who completed the survey, we included 297 (64 percent females; 36 percent males) who had a dating partner from age 13 to 19.Fully 64.7 percent of females and 61.7 percent of males reported dating violence victimization between age 13 and 19, with most experiencing multiple occurrences.
In sum, these longitudinal studies were instrumental in adding to our understanding of how and when physical and sexual types of violence occur.
Despite the large body of extant literature documenting prevalence of dating violence victimization and health correlates, including longitudinal studies that have characterized adolescents’ experience of dating violence at multiple points in time , prior studies have not, to date, collectively characterized across the adolescent period (ages 13 to 19) all dating violence types (physical, sexual, and psychological/emotional), the number of times adolescents experience each of these abuse types, and the number of partners who perpetrated each abuse type.
In the present investigation, we used a method similar to the timeline follow-back interview to query adolescents about their experiences of dating violence from age 13 to 19—including dating violence types, frequency, age at first occurrence, and number of abusive partners.
Smith’s (2003) study, which included women age 18 and 19 recruited during their freshmen year in college, showed that girls victimized in high school were at significantly greater risk of revictimization in college, including risk of more than one type of victimization; overall, 88% of the sample experienced physical or sexual assault from age 14 through the fourth year of college and 63.5% experienced co-victimization .
Other longitudinal studies also showed similar trends of sexual and physical violence revictimization; once victimized in adolescence, subjects were at increased risk for revictimization in young adulthood/college years .
Teens from racial and ethnic minority groups may be at disproportional risk for experiencing health burdens due to victimization.