National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Primary Sources: Can a Neighborhood Stop Dating Violence?

Photograph of diverse young people standing arm in arm.

Neighborhood Predictors of Dating Violence Victimization and Perpetration in Young Adulthood: A Multilevel Study” (abstract), American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 100 No. 9, September, 2010.
What it's about: Researchers studied 633 teens in 80 neighborhoods in urban Chicago to determine how often dating violence happens, who suffers, and whether communities can play a role in stopping it.
Why read it: Most studies have focused on why certain individuals or relationships are violent. This research begins to look at how and under what circumstances neighborhoods can affect youth dating violence.
Biggest take away for youth workers: Communities have the greatest ability to reduce interpersonal violence when the victim and perpetrator are young and still influenced by school, family and peer networks. Prevention starts by building a community-wide consensus that abuse in adolescent relationships, whether perpetrated by girls or boys, is not okay.
Additional reference: Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention is an online training designed by the CDC and Liz Clairborne, Inc., to teach educators, youth leaders and community members about recognizing and preventing dating violence.
(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of this and other publications.)