269262 A trend analysis of adolescent dating violence in a rural southern community

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

James McDonell, PhD , Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life, Clemson University, Greenville, SC
Tracy Waters, PhD , Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life, Clemson University, Greenville, SC
Natalia Sianko, PhD , Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life, Clemson University, Greenville, SC
Margaret Mitchell, MSW , Chesterfield County Coordinating Council, Chesterfield, SC
Stacee Mosier , Chesterfield County Coordinating Council, Chesterfield, SC
Background/Purpose: Teen dating violence is a significant public health concern with wide-ranging consequences for adolescent well-being. Prevalence estimates vary but studies suggest that one-third of adolescents experience some form of lifetime dating violence. However, prevalence may be higher in rural areas, particularly in the South. This presentation reports results from a multi-year cohort analysis of adolescent dating violence victimization and perpetration among middle- and high-school youth in a rural southern community. Methods: A survey was administered to a seven-year repeated-cohort sample of 2,540 male and female middle- and high-school students, gathering data on attitudes toward violence; experience of physical, emotional, and sexual dating violence; acceptability of intimate relationship violence; views of dating relationships; and substance use and related risks. Results: The sample averaged 14.3 years old, and was 65.1% female, and 41.7% racial and ethnic minorities, with 57.4% attending high school. Lifetime victimization was found for 26.9% of females and 19.8% of males; lifetime perpetration was reported by 19.6% of females and 9.6% of males. Across time, victimization increased for males and females while perpetration increased for males and decreased for females. Factors influencing dating violence were knowing a female victim or male perpetrator, feeling unsafe at school or in the neighborhood, past six-month substance use, and attitudes towards dating violence. Conclusions: Rates of dating violence among teens in the rural south are generally consistent with national data. Unlike other studies, however, these data show that older females perpetrate dating violence at higher rates than their male counterparts.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Compare findings relative to the prevalence of rural teen dating violence victimization and perpetration by gender, age, and type of violence. 2.Differentiate among factors influencing teen dating violence victimization and perpetration. 3.Critically assess the public health implications of teen dating violence.

Keywords: Adolescents, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator on multiple federally funded grants focused on adolescent dating violence and related risks, child maltreatment and intentional and unintentional injuries to children, adolescent pregnancy, and serious emotional and behavioral disorders among youth. My research interests include neighborhood effects on child safety and family well-being. I am currently PI on an NIH funded four-year multi-level cohort-sequential study of rural adolescent dating violence.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.