Parental Supervision, Substance Use, and Physical Victimization: A Theoretical Test of Risky Lifestyles/Routine Activities and Its Relationship to Dating Violence

Author: ORCID icon
Walker, Tammi, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Reppucci, Nicholas, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Hurd, Noelle, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

The purpose of this study was to test a theoretical model that is based upon the risky lifestyles/routine activities theory, in order to explain why some high risk adolescents are likely to experience physical victimization by a romantic partner in one or more romantic relationships. Specifically I asked whether, in the absence of parental supervision, teens are more likely to engage in substance use, which may put them at risk for being abused by their romantic partners. Based upon previous literature, it was expected that: (1) low parental supervision would be associated with more frequent substance use in dating relationships; (2) more frequent substance use in dating relationships would be associated with more frequent physical victimization by those romantic partners; and (3) adolescents without sufficient parental monitoring would report more physical victimization in their romantic relationships, but this relationship would be fully mediated by substance use in those relationships. Structural equation modeling was used to assess associations among parental monitoring, substance use in up to three romantic relationships, and physical victimization in those relationships using a sample of low-income, service-receiving (N=223) teens enrolled in Project D.A.T.E. Results indicated that without a capable guardian, teenage girls were more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when involved with romantic partners, which was associated with more frequent physical abuse by those partners. For teenage boys, the hypotheses were not supported.

MA (Master of Arts)
physical victimization, substance use, Parental supervision, teen dating violence
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