This study examined (1) homogenous subgroups based on victimization and perpetration of multiple forms of teen dating violence (TDV); (2) predictors of membership in these subgroups; and (3) mental health consequences associated with membership in each subgroup.
Although violence has multiple forms (i.e., physical, threatening, psychological, sexual, and relational abuse) and patterns (i.e., perpetration and victimization) that can co-occur, most existing research examined these experiences individually. Nine hundred eighteen adolescents in the 9th or 10th grade at seven public high schools in Texas participated in the survey (56 percent female; White, 30 percent; Hispanic, 32 percent; African-American, 29 percent; and others, 9 percent). A three-step latent class analysis was employed. Five latent teen dating violence classes were identified: (1) nonviolence; (2) emotional/verbal abuse; (3) forced sexual contact; (4) psychological plus physical violence; and (5) psychological abuse. Females, African-Americans, and youth who had higher acceptance of couple violence scores and whose parents had less education were more likely to be members of dating violence classes compared with the nonviolence class. Adolescents who experienced multiple types of dating violence reported greater mental health concerns. Prevention programs may benefit by identifying the homogeneous subgroups of teen dating violence and targeting adolescent teen dating violence accordingly. (Publisher abstract modified)