Dating abuse among teens
Understanding the prevalence and correlates of cyber dating abuse in this clinic-based sample may guide prevention and intervention efforts to reduce such abuse and improve adolescent health.
Data are from a cross-sectional survey that served as baseline data for a cluster-randomized trial in SHCs to promote healthy relationships and reduce ARA (Clinical Trials.gov, identifier NCT01678378).
No studies to date have examined cyber dating abuse and the associations with other forms of ARA and sexual risk behaviors among a clinic-based sample of adolescents.
School-based health centers (SHCs) represent a particularly unique setting in which to examine the clinical correlates of cyber dating abuse and ARA.
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More female than male participants reported cyber dating abuse victimization (44.6% vs 31.0%).
Compared with no exposure, low- (“a few times”) and high-frequency (“once or twice a month” or more) cyber dating abuse were significantly associated with physical or sexual ARA (low: adjusted odds ratio [a OR] 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8–4.4; high: a OR 5.4, 95% CI 4.0–7.5) and nonpartner sexual assault (low: a OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3–5.5; high: a OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.8–5.9).
Before the clinical encounter, youth used a laptop with headphones to complete a 15-minute audio computer-assisted survey about ARA and other forms of violence victimization, sexual behavior, and care seeking for sexual and reproductive health.
Students received a gift card to thank them for their time.
Furthermore, Zweig et al identified the most significant health correlates of cyber dating abuse to be a history of sexual activity, and having higher levels of depressive symptoms and anger/hostility.