What Accounts for Demographic Differences in Trajectories of Adolescent Dating Violence? An Examination of Intrapersonal and Contextual Mediators
These authors examined intrapersonal and contextual factors that mediate associations between demographic variables and trajectories of dating violence perpetration from ages 13-19 years. They analyzed multi-wave data from 959 adolescents using formal mediation analysis in a multilevel analytical framework. Gender and neighborhood disadvantage were not associated with trajectories of dating violence, so mediation was not examined for those variables. At all ages, minority adolescents reported perpetrating significantly more moderate and severe physical dating violence than non-minority adolescents. Destructive communication skills, acceptance of dating abuse, gender stereotyping, and exposure to family violence significantly mediated those associations. Parental education was negatively associated with moderate physical dating violence; acceptance of dating abuse, gender stereotyping, and exposure to family violence significantly mediated that association. At all ages, adolescents from single-parent households perpetrated significantly more severe physical dating violence than those from two-parent households, but no variables mediated that association. Modified Author Abstract.