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Teen Dating Violence: A Review of Risk Factors and Prevention Efforts

NCJ Number
Maura O'Keefe
Date Published
April 2005
14 pages
This paper reviews the risk factors and prevention efforts related to teen dating violence.
Results of a recent national survey indicate that approximately 12 percent of high school students have experienced physical dating violence, but surveys have found prevalence rates for teen dating violence that range between 9 percent and 57 percent. Research into the dynamics of dating violence has exposed the differences between teen dating violence and adult abusive relationships. Most importantly, findings have suggested that non-sexual violence in dating relationships is equally perpetrated by both males and females. However, research also shows that females suffer more negative consequences of violence directed at them, especially in terms of physical harm. Risk factors for both inflicting and sustaining dating violence that have been identified in the research literature are discussed and include prior exposure to violence, attitudes that violence is acceptable, peer influence, and the presence of other problem behaviors such as drug use and engagement in risky sexual behaviors. Directions for future research are identified, such as research into the experiences of dating violence among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. References