The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of teen dating victimization among boys and girls and examine their association with family and peer contextual risk factors and injuries and mental health indicators.
As part of the population-based Youths’ Romantic Relationships Project, 8 230 high school students were questioned about their victimization experiences. Latent class analysis was used to identify classes for both girls and boys. Latent class analysis identified a best fitting model of three classes for girls: low victimization (61 % of girls), sexual and psychological violence (27 %) and multiple victimization (12 %).
Similarly for boys, three classes were identified including a low victimization (84% of boys), a multiple victimization (9 %) and an unwanted sexual contacts and psychological violence (7%). Associations between class membership and family and peer contextual risk factors and mental health indicators revealed more distinctive features among classes for girls than for boys. Confirming our hypothesis, both genders in the multiple violence class reported experiencing the most injuries (e.g., bruise or cut, pain the next day or need of a medical appointment).
A history of childhood interpersonal traumas was significantly related to classes of dating victimization, suggesting that different forms of child abuse (neglect, exposure to interparental violence, physical or sexual abuse) are associated with a heightened risk of revictimization in the context of their first romantic relationships. Our findings suggest that child sexual abuse may act as a specific vulnerability factor for more pervasive forms of TDV for girls.
The findings highlight the utility of a person-oriented approach to enhance our understanding of the diversity of victimization experiences in the context of teen romantic relationships. Results also underscore the importance of tailoring prevention efforts to efficiently tackle teen dating violence and the relevance of trauma-informed practices.
Hébert, M., Moreau, C., Blais, M., Oussaid, E., and Lavoie, F. (2018). A three-step gendered latent class analysis on dating victimization profiles : correlates with family and peer contextual risk factors, injuries and mental health. Injury Prevention. DOI: 10.1136/injuryprevention-2018-safety.459.
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