History of teen dating
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Teen dating violence — also called intimate relationship violence or intimate partner violence among adolescents or adolescent relationship abuse — includes physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship.
Building off a long history of research in the area of intimate partner violence, NIJ is now looking to relationships during adolescence to understand the factors that put individuals at risk for involvement in abusive romantic relationships as adults.
This is a contentious issue because there is a desire to protect both parties involved (or that have the potential to become involved) in teen dating violence.
While classifying the perpetrator as a threat may be detrimental to his or her life and future relationships, not classifying the perpetrator this way may put future partners at risk.
Girls are more likely to report committing less serious forms of IPV, including as a means of self-defense, whereas boys are more likely to report committing more severe acts of IPV, including threats, physical violence and controlling a partner.
Other research indicates that boys who have been abused in childhood by a family member are more prone to IPV perpetration, while girls who have been abused in childhood by a family member are prone to lack empathy and self-efficacy; but the risks for the likelihood of IPV perpetration and victimization among adolescents vary and are not well understood.
By contrast, boys are more likely to report experiencing less severe acts, such as being pinched, slapped, scratched or kicked.
The subjects were asked questions about violence in their adolescent relationships, as either victim or perpetrator, and their childhood surrounding twelve different adversities: parental death, parental divorce, long-term separation from parent, parental mental illness, parental substance abuse disorder, parental criminality, inter-parental violence, serious physical illness in childhood, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and family economic adversity.