Individual and Family Predictors of the Perpetration of Dating Violence and Victimization in Late Adolescence
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Teen dating violence is a crime of national concern with approximately one-fourth of adolescents reporting victimization of physical, psychological, or sexual dating violence each year. The present study examined how aggressive family dynamics in both childhood and early adolescence predicted the perpetration of dating violence and victimization in late adolescence. Children (n = 401, 43 % female) were followed from kindergarten entry to the age of 18 years. Early adolescent aggressive-oppositional problems at home and aggressive-oppositional problems at school each made unique predictions to the emergence of dating violence in late adolescence. The results suggest that aggressive family dynamics during childhood and early adolescence influence the development of dating violence primarily by fostering a child’s oppositional-aggressive responding style initially in the home, which is then generalized to other contexts. Although this study is limited by weaknesses detailed in the discussion, the contribution of longitudinal evidence including parent, teacher, and adolescent reports from both boys and girls, a dual-emphasis on the prediction of perpetration and victimization, as well as an analysis of both relations between variables and person-oriented group comparisons combine to make a unique contribution to the growing literature on adolescent partner violence.
KeywordsDating violence Longitudinal Adolescents Family
The authors wish to acknowledge the help of Dr. Robert Nix, the Fast Track team, and the Fast Track families.
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