Importance of gender and attitudes about violence in the relationship between exposure to interparental violence and the perpetration of teen dating violence

Child Abuse Negl. 2013 May;37(5):343-52. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Objective: Mounting evidence has demonstrated a link between exposure to family of origin violence and the perpetration of teen dating violence (TDV). However, only recently have mechanisms underlying this relationship been investigated and very few studies have differentiated between exposure to father-to-mother and mother-to-father violence.

Methods: The current study used structural equation modeling on a large ethnically diverse school-based sample of male and female adolescents (n=917) to address these gaps in the literature.

Results: For adolescent girls, there was an association between exposure to interparental violence (father-to-mother and mother-to-father) and TDV perpetration (physical violence and psychological abuse). For adolescent boys, only an association between mother-to-father violence was related to their TDV perpetration. Further, for both girls and boys, the relationship between mother-to-father violence and perpetration of TDV was fully mediated by attitudes accepting of violence.

Conclusion: These results suggest that attending to gender and targeting adolescents' attitudes about violence may be viable approaches to preventing TDV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Attitude
  • Courtship
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Family Conflict / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult