Relationship Characteristics Associated with Teen Dating Violence Perpetration

J Aggress Maltreat Trauma. 2016;25(9):936-954. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2016.1223774. Epub 2016 Sep 21.


Teen dating violence (TDV) is unstable across dating relationships, suggesting that characteristics of the relationship could be related to TDV. Few empirical studies have examined these links. This study examined associations between relationship characteristics and TDV perpetration among teens and sex differences in those associations. Relationship characteristics examined include tactics used to manipulate partners; ways of responding to relationship problems; relationship duration; exclusivity of the relationship; age difference between partners; and history of sexual intercourse with partner. Data were drawn from 667 teens in a current relationship (62.5% female and 81.4% white) enrolled in the 11th or 12th grade in 14 public schools in a rural US state. Bivariate and multivariable regression analyses examined proposed associations. 30.1% and 8.2% of teens reported controlling and physical TDV perpetration, respectively. In multivariable models, frequent use manipulation tactics increased risk for controlling or physical TDV perpetration. Teens dating a partner two or more years younger were at significantly increased risk for both controlling and physical perpetration. A significant interaction emerged between sex and exit/neglect accommodation for physical TDV. Characteristics of a current dating relationship play an important role in determining risk for controlling and physical TDV perpetration.

Keywords: controlling dating violence perpetration; physical dating violence perpetration; teen dating relationship characteristics.