Physical dating violence among high school students
Initiatives that focus on reducing minority stress are a key component to effective dating violence prevention and presumably would reduce other health inequities (for example, poorer physical health status among minorities). Several evidence-based programs (such as Green Dot, Safe Dates) have demonstrated reductions in dating violence.
More research and community conversations are needed about how to ensure that all teens in New Hampshire have access to comprehensive violence prevention initiatives in all grade levels that include a focus on diversity and inclusivity, positive youth development (for example, the sense of mattering and purpose), and structural inequities (such as poverty). M Wright, “The Impact of Neighborhoods on Intimate Partner Violence and Victimization,” 28, no.
Of note, teens in more impoverished New Hampshire communities reported lower feelings of mattering than did teens in less-impoverished communities.
Based on the findings presented in this brief and the broader research on dating violence among teens, we suggest the following: Initiatives that focus on reducing poverty and improving teens’ experiences of community mattering could be important components of more comprehensive efforts to reduce the incidence and prevalence of dating violence in New Hampshire.
The YRBS is part of a multi-decade Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project that monitors health risk behaviors (for more information, see
To date, researchers have primarily focused on individual factors (for example, attitudes toward violence) and relational factors (such as peer group norms) that may be related to dating violence victimization.
Also, teens 12 and younger were removed; a small portion of individuals were over the age of 18. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The Social Egological Model: A Framework for Prevention” (Atlanta, GA: CDC, 2013).
See Table 1 for participant demographic characteristics. Dardis et al., “An Examination of the Factors Related to Dating Violence Perpetration Among Young Men and Women and Associated Theoretical Explanations: A Review of the Literature,” 42, no.
Teens who reported participating in community groups (including sports groups and church groups) were more likely to report sexual dating violence victimization than teens who reported that they did not participate in community groups. The authors would like to thank Jeffrey Metzger and the New Hampshire Department of Education for providing them with the New Hampshire YRBS data.
This finding was unexpected, and it will be important for future research to replicate and better understand it. The authors would also like to thank Kara Anne Rodenhizer for her assistance with collection of community-level data and Dr. Thanks to Michael Ettlinger, Michele Dillon, Curt Grimm, Amy Sterndale, Laurel Lloyd, and Bianca Nicolosi at the Carsey School of Public Policy and Patrick Watson for editorial contributions.