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Journal Article


Wincentak K, Connolly J, Card N. Psychol. Violence 2017; 7(2): 224-241.


(Copyright © 2017, American Psychological Association)






OBJECTIVE: The goals of the present review were to determine the prevalence of physical and sexual TDV among adolescents, obtain the rates of teen dating violence (TDV) separately by gender, and examine the potential moderation effects of age, demographics, and measurement.

METHOD: A systematic literature search elicited 101 studies reporting rates for youth aged 13 to 18.

RESULTS: Meta-analytic combination produced an overall prevalence of 20% for physical TDV and 9% for sexual TDV. Significant variability in rates was found, with physical TDV ranging from 1% to 61% and sexual TDV ranging from <1% to 54%. Gender differences in physical TDV were significant for perpetration (boys 13% vs. girls 25%) but not for victimization (21% boys and girls). A different pattern was observed for sexual TDV with girls reporting lower rates of perpetration compared with boys (3% vs. 10%) and higher rates of victimization (14% vs. 8%). Moderator analyses revealed higher rates in samples representing higher proportions of older teens (sexual TDV), cultural minority girls (physical TDV), and disadvantaged neighborhoods (physical TDV). Studies using broad measurement tools yielded higher rates of both forms of TDV across gender.

CONCLUSIONS: Basing the meta-analysis on a large pool of studies with comparable samples, 1 in 5 adolescents reported physical TDV and roughly 1 in 10 reported sexual TDV. Systematic bias in boys' and girls' self-reports was evident along with high variability in TDV rates across studies and significant moderator influences. These findings are suggestive of substantive methodological challenges in extant studies. The obtained rates should be cautiously interpreted and future research should address the methodological limitations of self-reported TDV, taking into consideration the potential influences of gender, demographics, age, and measurement issues when designing TDV research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Language: en


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