Research on teen dating
Youth also report concerns that the abuse will be disclosed to their parents and/or Child Protective Services, or that their partners will be notified, thus subjecting them to more abuse.These are important gaps which could benefit from additional resource development and technical assistance.The effect of teen dating violence on physical health, mental health, and educational outcomes is significant.Youth victims of dating violence are more likely to experience depression and anxiety symptoms, engage in unhealthy behaviors like using tobacco, drugs and alcohol, exhibit antisocial behaviors, and think about suicide.These forms of abuse are often challenging to identify because they are extremely normalized in society and at the same time, inherently more private.
There is a large number of diverse youth dating abuse victims, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, immigrants, those with limited English proficiency, and those who may be religiously affiliated who indicate they have not disclosed abuse to anyone.
Compared to students in schools with just standard prevention, youth at schools that used the comprehensive Dating Matters program were 8.3% less likely to perpetrate teen violence, 9.8% less likely to be victims and 5.5% less likely to use negative conflict resolution strategies, the study found.
“This study shows that teaching young people the skills they need to engage in respectful, healthy relationships makes it less likely that they will perpetrate or be victims of dating violence,” said lead study author Phyllis Holditch Niolon of the CDC.
“These skills include conflict resolution, healthy communication, and social and emotional skills, in addition to recognizing characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships,” Niolon said by email.
“Dating Matters also teaches parents the importance of being health and relationship educators for their kids, and starting conversations about healthy relationships before they start dating.” Young people who participated in the Dating Matters program in the current study didn’t appear any less likely to engage in positive relationship behaviors than middle school students at schools without the program, researchers report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.