Teen Dating Violence

National Institute of Justice, Aggression, Child sexual abuse


This research proposal is being presented to examine if adolescents are most at risk for abusing and assaulting their dating partners because there is a direct or an intermediary association from exposure to dysfunctional behavior at home, at school, or in their community. These influences not only affect how youths behave, but also what they believe about acceptable forms of behavior in their relationships. Dating violence is defined by the United States Department of Justice as: “the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member within the context of dating or courtship”(Available On Line). This also includes dating between same sex couples, although most statistics have been gathered from heterosexual couples. This proposed study will make use of longitudinal research, gathering data from 500 male and female subjects between the ages of 6 and 12, once a year over the next six years. A questionnaire will be administered at selected elementary, middle and high schools in the Denver metropolitan area that will allow the subjects to self report. Information regarding dysfunctional parenting practices, (such as abuse, neglect, parental conflicts, and violence,) social conflicts in school and conflicts with in the community will be measured as independent variables. Any responsibility for emotional and physical abuse in dating and delinquency will all be measured at appropriate ages as dependent variables. Three independent variables are involved and multivariate analysis will be implemented in data analysis.

Keywords: Dating violence, Domestic violence, Child abuse, Adolescents, Sexual assault, Risk factors

As a social worker and the parent of three wonderful adult children, I ask myself what can be done to protect today’s adolescents from the effects of dating violence. It is my belief that romantic attachments begin as an adolescent and unfortunately, many of...
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