Dating Violence/Abuse and Sexual Risk Taking: A Survey of African American and Latino Adolescents
METHODS: Urban, African American and Latino adolescents were recruited from two high schools and one youth community organization. The survey included multiple measures of: 1) experienced discrimination; 2) dating abuse and violence; and 3) sexual risk taking.
RESULTS: Participants were primarily female (63.6%) aged 16.3 (sd=1.6). Students reported a high prevalence of violence (6.0% reporting no form of emotion, physical or sexual dating abuse), discrimination (76.8% any form) and being sexually active (72.2%). Reported sexual relationships were primarily longer term (48.1% lasting 1-2 years; 24% 3-4 years and 18.3% 5 or more years. Discrimination correlated with: a) being a victim of dating abuse (r=.245, p<.01), b) being a perpetrator of dating abuse (r=.357, p<.01); c) anal intercourse (r=.205, p< .05), (d) oral intercourse (r=.190, p < .05), and (e) any type of intercourse (r=.214, p< .05).
DISCUSSION: Adolescence is a critical period one’s life stage to prevent future family violence. Research on family violence needs to include experienced discrimination as a possible mediator explaining youth dating relationship violence and sexual risk. Socioecological intervention approaches may be needed to prevent and diminish discrimination and subsequent violence. Future research needs to address causality in violence, discrimination and sexual risk taking.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe violent dating relationships in African American and Latino urban youth. Identify sexual risk health concerns facing adolescents in violent and abusive dating relationships. Explain the role that discrimination plays in increasing risk of violence. Discuss family intervention approaches to address youth dating violence and policy implications.
Keyword(s): Violence & Injury Prevention, Adolescents
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a professor of Public Health at Hunter College, I have published and served as the principal investigator for the current study. I am an expert on health disparities for African Americans and Latinos and have worked in violence prevention for many years.
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.