Typologies of Teen Dating Violence: Implications for Treatment, Prevention, and Future Research

Reitz-Krueger, Cristina, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Reppucci, Nicholas, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

Scholars of intimate partner violence (IPV) have called for the exploration of the existence of typologies within partner violence. Distinct types of IPV may (a) account for contentious differences between existing theories of IPV, (b) be associated with different risk and protective factors, and (c) dictate varied prevention and intervention strategies. There is a relative dearth of research on IPV typologies among adults, but even less among adolescents who might be most amenable to change. Data were analyzed from Project DATE, a longitudinal study of teen dating violence (TDV) among low-income, service receiving teens, to examine the following questions: (1) Within this sample, are there meaningful typologies of dating violence aside from just “victim” or “perpetrator?” (2) How stable are typologies across relationships? (3) What variables are associated with different typologies? Across two relationships, seven unique clusters of participants emerged: Low Conflict, Monitored, High Monitoring, Yellers, Victims, Perpetrators, and High Conflict. Four of those clusters were present in both relationships and most reflected bidirectional violence. Several participants changed groups from Relationship 1 to Relationship 2, but the majority of participants stayed in the Low Conflict group for both relationships. Those in a more violent cluster in Relationship 1 were most likely to remain in their original group or to move to another violent cluster. In one or both relationships, the clusters significantly differed in reported drug use, offending, peer delinquency, depression, academic self concept, number of support persons, acceptance of TDV, witnessed parental domestic violence, maternal neglect and abuse, and paternal emotional abuse. The results of this study suggest that (a) teen dating violence may look very different depending on the couple, and (b) programs need to address less severe, bidirectional violence in addition to intimate terrorism.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
teen dating violence, adolescents
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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