Do context and emotional reaction to physical dating violence interact to increase the likelihood of disclosure in 13 year-old British adolescents?
Keywords:romantic relationships, dating violence, early adolescence, ALSPAC
The present study examines the contextual antecedent correlates and consequences of adolescents’ involvement in dating violence and their role as correlates of disclosure in a sample of 3604, 13 year-old adolescents (1838, 51.6% female; 91% White) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Of the sample, 322 (10.5%) reported using violence and 382 (11.7%) reported experiencing violence in romantic relationships, with males more likely to identify themselves as victims, and girls more likely to be perpetrators and perpetrator/victims. Girls however, were more likely to disclose their experiences. Males were more likely to be victimized due to anger and jealousy and perpetration was explained as being part of a game or done in self defense. For females victimization was experienced in the context of a game and perpetration was initiated due to anger or responding to being annoyed by their partners. Associations were found for each gender in relation to the context of the violence and the resulting emotional response to the experience. These findings need to be considered in relation to what educational strategies may be required in order to ensure that adolescents can enjoy healthy dating relationships.
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