Online Program

Different types of teen dating violence: What are they and who seeks help?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Janine Zweig, Ph.D., Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Jennifer Yahner, M.A., Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Meredith Dank, Ph.D., Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Teen dating violence (TDV) literature treats it as a unitary phenomenon, despite evidence of different types of adult violent relationships (Johnson 2006) including: (1) intimate terrorism (IT) which involves a physically violent perpetrator asserting control through tactics such as threats, intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, and sexual control; (2) situational couple violence (SCV) which involves physical violence between partners, absent the control dynamics; (3) violent resistance (VR) in which both partners are violent but only one is controlling, indicating that the IT victim is fighting back; and (4) mutual violent control (MVC) in which both partners are violent and controlling. This study examined Johnson's typology based on both female and male reports of their own TDV victimization and perpetration using a sample of 3,745 youth in three northeastern states in current or recent dating relationships (52 percent were female; 74 percent White). One-third of youth reported TDV relationships. Of these, 2% of females and 7% of males reported IT; 88% of females and 83% of males reported SCV; 9% of females and 8% of males reported VR; and <1% of females and 3% of males reported MVC. Only 9% of TDV victims sought help. Respondents in high-control violent relationships reported more frequent and severe acts of physical violence and were more likely to seek help, compared to those in SCV relationships. By understanding different types of TDV relationships, variation in risks and consequences can be understood. The findings will inform efforts related to tailoring programs to particular adolescent victims and perpetrators.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate types of teen dating violence based on relationship characteristics. Identify which teen victims seek help and which do not. Assess applicability of prevention and intervention strategies to different types of teen dating violence.

Keyword(s): Violence, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a principal or co-principal investigator on several federally funded studies focused on teen dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual violence. My research has focused on the nature of intimate partner and sexual violence, as well as victim service, social service, and criminal justice responses to such 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.