The Relationship Between Adolescents' Experience of Family Violence and Dating Violence
These authors investigated whether experiences of familial victimization and aggression are potential risk factors for dating violence in male and female teenage relationships. They compared adolescents aged 12 to 19 who in the care of a youth protection agency (n=190) with 281 youth from a community sample. Results show that adolescents carry negative childhood experiences of family violence into their intimate relationships in different ways, depending on gender and level of risk. Female adolescents who had been victimized by either of their parents were at greater risk for revictimization, but not aggression, within their dating relationships. High-risk adolescent males who reported childhood victimization were at a particularly high risk of being aggressive toward their girlfriends, especially if they were harshly disciplined by their fathers. The extent of aggression toward parents predicted aggression toward dating partners, particularly for girls. The authors discuss the implications for prevention and early intervention efforts. Modified Author Abstract.