Prevalence dating violence victimization
Violence perpetrated in the context of adolescent romantic relationships is common[1-3] and merits interest given its potential impact on multiple health outcomes[4,5], and on the development of expectations for the conduct of adult intimate relationships.
However, only recently has dating violence (DV) among adolescents been recognized as an important public health issue.
Fewer studies examine perpetration among adolescents, and none were identified in nationally representative samples.
Estimates of perpetration vary widely across studies[2,11,12] for similar reasons as those given for the wide variability of victimization estimates.
Research findings regarding associations of DV with gender are inconsistent across studies.
When broad definitions of DV are used, higher rates are often found among boys compared to girls.
In the 2005 National Survey of Adolescents, an estimated 1.6% of youth ages 12-17 experienced DV using stringent definitions of physical and sexual assault.Two surveys measuring physical DV victimization in nationally representative samples, National Survey of Child and Adolescent Victimization (ages 12-17) and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (high school students), report 64% and 9.8% of respondents, respectively, were victimized[8,9].Using a measure that included verbal and physical victimization, 32% of youth in opposite-sex relationships reported DV victimization in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Heath (Add Health).Although FMM has not been previously used to examine DV, one advantage is that it models population heterogeneity and the underlying constructs simultaneously.
This technique is particularly useful where there may be differences in the frequency of engaging in or severity of certain behaviors across latent classes.
Using latent class analysis to examine victimization among girls, Foster and colleagues identified 3 classes, those uninvolved, those experiencing verbal violence, and those experiencing both verbal and physical violence.