Cornell University Study Finds Teen Dating Violence Linked to Problems in Adulthood

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that teenagers who are victims of dating violence are likely to experience similar episodes as adults. The study also found that teenagers who experienced dating violence are more likely to be substance abusers as adults and are more likely to consider suicide.

Researchers analyzed data on a group of nearly 5,700 teenagers who were part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. This data showed that 30 percent of teenage males and 31 percent of teenage females experienced some form of physical or psychological dating-related abuse. The teens were then interviewed five years later about their experiences as young adults.

Female teenagers who were victims of dating abuse were 1.5 times as likely to binge drink and were twice as likely to consider suicide as teenage girls who had not been subjected to dating violence.

Exner-CortensDeinera Exner-Cortens, a doctoral student in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University and the lead author of the study, states, “Teens are experiencing their first romantic relationships, so it could be that aggressive relationships are skewing their view of what’s normal and healthy and putting them on a trajectory for future victimization. In this regard, we found evidence that teen relationships can matter a great deal over the long run.”

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