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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Dating Violence in the News

A recent study described in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggests that 3 percent of 12-to-17-year-old girls and 0.6 percent of boys report being physically or sexually assaulted by a romantic partner or date. These results do not include being slapped or verbally abused, which would push those rates up much higher.

Teens at greater risk for experiencing violence in their relationships are those with a history of stressful traumatic events like losing a sibling, parent or friend. Because we know who may be at risk, we could target teens the most at risk for relationship violence with prevention messages that help them develop healthy teen relationships. The authors also suggest that all teens be taught how to report violence experienced by friends.

The consequences of being exposed to relationship violence includes being four times more likely to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression.

Photo credit: roland
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.