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Study participants were surveyed in 1999 and again in 2004.
Both boys and girls who had experienced dating violence were more likely to display three or more of 10 behavioral and psychological health problems, including binge eating, cigarette smoking, alcohol or marijuana use, depressive symptoms and low self-esteem, the researchers found.
It’s also important not to assume that all dating relationships will be heterosexual, or that the victims of dating violence are always female, Ackard said, noting that “there certainly have been instances in which the female partner in a relationship is doing more of the violent acts than the male.” SOURCE: Journal of Pediatrics, November 2007.
With support from the National Institute of Justice, NORC at the Univeristy of Chicago is conducting a three-year randomized multi-level experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-level longitudinal approach to dating violence and sexual harassment (DV/H) prevention programming for public middle school students from New York City.
“In general, what we’ve found is that adolescent dating violence puts young individuals, both girls and boys, at risk for a myriad of health risk behaviors,” Ackard said.
As many as 1 in 5 female adolescents and 1 in 10 males have been abused physically or sexually by a dating partner, Ackard and her colleagues note in the Journal of Pediatrics.
The vast majority of middle school students define control and jealousy as signs of true love rather as signs of abuse.Parents and teachers need to talk about how they think about and interact with their partners.These conversations need to happen repeatedly, naturally, as a part of sharing life together.When a young man hears a father figure talking about how his partner should always be treated with respect so he had to take time to “cool down” when he was angry rather than lash out at his partner, this provides a framework for what healthy relationships look like and for the importance of managing emotions.The same thing is true when a mother figure talks about the importance of not verbally lashing out at her partner when she is mad but rather taking time to figure out how to own her emotions, manage them, and talk about them constructively with her partner. Adults also need to spend time with teenagers and their dating partners.