Contextual Risk Profiles and Trajectories of Adolescent Dating Violence Perpetration

  • H. Luz McNaughton Reyes
  • Vangie A. Foshee
  • Nathan Markiewitz
  • May S. Chen
  • Susan T. Ennett


Social ecological and developmental system perspectives suggest that interactions among factors within and across multiple contexts (e.g., neighborhood, peer, family) must be considered in explaining dating violence perpetration. Yet, to date, most extant research on dating violence has focused on individual, rather than contextual predictors, and used variable-centered approaches that fail to capture the configurations of factors that may jointly explain involvement in dating violence. The current study used a person-centered approach, latent profile analysis, to identify key configurations (or profiles) of contextual risk and protective factors for dating violence perpetration across the neighborhood, school, friend and family contexts. We then examine the longitudinal associations between these contextual risk profiles, assessed during middle school, and trajectories of psychological and physical dating violence perpetration across grades 8 through 12. Five contextual risk profiles were identified: school, neighborhood, and family risk; school and family risk; school and friend risk; school and neighborhood risk; and low risk. The highest levels of psychological and physical perpetration across grades 8 through 12 were among adolescents in the profile characterized by high levels of school, neighborhood, and family risk. Results suggest that early interventions to reduce violence exposure and increase social regulation across multiple social contexts may be effective in reducing dating violence perpetration across adolescence.


Adolescents Contextual risk Latent profile analysis Dating violence Developmental trajectory 



Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Development of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R21HD087781-01.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval for the parent study and analyses conducted for the current manuscript was provided by the non-biomedical Institutional Review Board at UNC Chapel Hill in accordance with federal regulations governing human subject research. All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individuals who participated in the parent study that provided the data used in the analyses reported in the current manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11121_2018_896_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Luz McNaughton Reyes
    • 1
  • Vangie A. Foshee
    • 1
  • Nathan Markiewitz
    • 2
  • May S. Chen
    • 1
  • Susan T. Ennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health BehaviorUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory, Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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