This adds to a body of research suggesting that teen dating violence "is a substantial public health problem," says the study, in today's Pediatrics.About 20% of both girls and boys said they experienced only psychological violence; 2% of girls and 3% of boys said just physical. When researchers analyzed data from the same young adults five years later, they found notable differences:• Girls victimized by a teen boyfriend reported more heavy drinking, smoking, depression and thoughts of suicide.• Boys who had been victimized reported increased anti-social behaviors, such as delinquency, marijuana use and thoughts of suicide.• Those of both sexes who were in aggressive relationships as teens were two to three times more likely to be in violent relationships as young adults.The data did not specifically address why many of the negative outcomes were different for boys and girls, or explain the conditions that led to revictimization, says Deinera Exner-Cortens, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Cornell University."We know that girls are more likely to experience more severe physical violence, sexual violence and injury, and they report more fear around their aggressive dating experiences," she says.
Researchers who analyzed data from a nationally representative survey of 5,681 teens ages 12 to 18 found roughly 30% of both boys and girls said they had been the victim in an aggressive heterosexual dating relationship.
Teens may not call it “dating” but studies show that by the time they are in middle school, many young people are involved in intimate, romantic dating relationships.
A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 75 percent of seventh graders report having a boyfriend or girlfriend.
As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences.
Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.
In young adulthood, females who had experienced teen dating violence reported increased depression symptoms and were 1.5 times more likely to binge drink or smoke and twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts.