Not everyone who is identified as “at risk” becomes involved in violence.
Assuistant Professor Katie Edwards is one of the authors of the study. Researchers typically looked at things like peer group norms and prevalent attitudes towards violence in relationships, but you took a different approach. We saw it close to zero in some schools while in other schools it was 15 percent.
What I really wanted to do was to try to look more specifically at whether there are kids in New Hampshire who are at greater risk for dating violence. I also wanted to go beyond attitudes and knowledge and look more at school and community characteristics that may serve as risk or protective factors for dating violence. For sexual dating violence, it was close to zero up to 17 percent.
Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.
It is important to create spaces, such as school communities, where the behavioral norms are not tolerant of abuse in dating relationships.
It occurs in heterosexual and same-sex relationships and cuts across racial/ethnic and socio economic lines.
Although there are methodological problems accurately determining prevalence rates, a conservative estimate is that one in three adolescents has experienced physical or sexual violence in a dating relationship (Avery-Leaf, Cascardi, O'Leary, & Cano, 1997).
We also found that teens who reported high levels of “community mattering”—feeling significant to their community, feeling like they mattered to teachers and parents—those kids reported lower levels of dating violence, which I think is really important, because that’s modifiable.
There are certain things we can do to help you feel important.
A 2011 CDC nationwide survey found that 23% of females and 14% of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age. Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who — Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.
The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months* before they were surveyed. All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable.
The other thing about that variable: community mattering doesn’t just relate to dating violence, but also to a host of other academic and other variables.