Lasting effects of dating violence
In general, research has found that many teens in violent relationships are unlikely to look for help, either from friends or family or from a professional.
When they do seek help, they are most likely to go to friends.
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.
Psychological abuse happened most frequently, with nearly 15 percent of young people experiencing it.
Boys were more likely than girls to have experienced every form of dating violence, except stalking.
Typically, males use physical force to assert control, while females use it to protect themselves, to retaliate, or because they fear an assault.