Causes of teen dating violence

Given that many of these prevention programs have only been short-term interventions, the results are particularly encouraging and demonstrate a potential to impact public health.

Especially encouraging is a program demonstrating long-term behavioral change.

Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.

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Risk factors have been defined as "attributes or characteristics that are associated with an increased probability of [its] reception and/or expression" (Hotaling & Sugarman, 1990 p. Risk factors are correlates of dating violence and not necessarily causative factors.

Thus, they may have implications for prevention program, but they may also be outcomes that have implications for treatment.

Key risk factors consistently found in the literature to be associated with inflicting dating violence include the following: holding norms accepting or justifying the use of violence in dating relationships (Malik et al., 1997; O'Keefe, 1997); having friends in violent relationships (Arriaga & Foshee, 2004); exposure to violence in one's family and community violence (Foo & Margolin, 1995, O'Keefe, 1997; Schwartz et al., 1997); alcohol and drug use (O'Keeffe et al., 1986; Silverman et al., 2001); and a having a history of aggression (Riggs & O'Leary, 1989, Chase et al., 1998).

The one factor that has consistently been associated with being the victim of dating violence, particularly for males, is inflicting dating violence (O'Keefe, 1997).

Moreover, the emotional consequences of the violence are more harmful for females than for males.

Further research is needed to enhance our understanding of adolescent dating violence including the nature of conflicts, as well as the meaning, context, intent, and consequences of the violence and the role of gender.Dating violence seems to decrease once young adults move beyond being a teenager.Part of this may be because of the way teenagers see themselves and because of their newness to dating.Although there are methodological problems accurately determining prevalence rates, a conservative estimate is that one in three adolescents has experienced physical or sexual violence in a dating relationship (Avery-Leaf, Cascardi, O'Leary, & Cano, 1997).These rates are higher when verbal abuse is included in the definition.Teen dating violence appears to parallel violence in adult relationships in that it exists on a continuum ranging from verbal abuse to rape and murder (Sousa, 1999).

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