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Teens, Dating Violence, and Media Use: A Review of the Literature and Conceptual Model for Future Research

NCJ Number
Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 3-18
Jennifer A. Manganello
Date Published
January 2008
16 pages
This article presents an overview of the prevalence of teen dating violence, examines the potential for assessing media-use as a risk factor, and develops a conceptual model of risk.
A review of the relevant literature shows that estimates of the prevalence of dating violence have varied significantly because definitions of dating violence and the characteristics of the populations studied have varied. This has made it difficult to assess actual rates of teen dating violence in the United States. Still, the research on teen dating violence is extensive. It has identified several risk factors linked to teen dating violence, including exposure to both parental and community violence. Much of the research on teen dating violence however, has been cross-sectional which makes it difficult to assess causes, and there have been mixed findings across studies. No published study on teen dating violence has measured media use as a risk factor for being either a perpetrator or victim of teen dating violence. Media use, including time spent with media, types of media used, and content of media messages, has the potential to influence attitudes toward teen dating violence and provide role models for abusive behaviors in intimate relationships. Studies have found that teens report getting information about relationships from the media. The author proposes a conceptual model of dating-violence behaviors that relies on Social Learning Theory. It combines aspects of several existing models and includes risk factors that have been reported in the literature on teen dating violence. The model includes media-use as a factor, based in part on the media practice model developed by Steele and Brown (1995). Their model links five aspects of teen media-use: selection of media, interaction with media, application of media to their lives, and application of media to their identities. 1 figure and 122 references