Identification of Patterns of Dating Aggression and Victimization Among Urban Early Adolescents and Their Relations to Mental Health Symptoms
Psychology of Violence
© 2016 American Psychological Association. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patterns of dating aggression and victimization in urban early adolescents and their relations to mental health symptoms. Method: Participants were students in 3 urban public middle schools who reported having a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 3 months (n = 938). The sample (M = 13.3 years old) was 52% female, 73% African American, 15% multiracial, 4% White, and 8% other races; 13% were also Hispanic or Latino. Participants reported their frequency of experiencing and perpetrating 10 dating aggression behaviors. Results: Latent class analysis identified typologies of dating aggression and victimization. The best fitting model was a 5-class model that classified youth as uninvolved (54.6%), victims (8.3%), aggressors (9.7%), psychologically aggressive victims (22.0%), and aggressive victims (5.4%). Groups also differed on measures of trauma-related distress and problem behaviors, specifically physical aggression, even after consideration of exposure to community violence. Conclusions: These findings suggest that subtypes of dating aggression exist in middle school that are characterized by differing levels and types of involvement and relations to mental health symptoms. These results support the need for prevention and intervention programs focusing on early adolescent dating aggression, particularly to also prevent trauma-related distress and problem behaviors.
Goncy, Elizabeth A.; Sullivan, Terri N.; Farrell, Albert D.; Mehari, Krista R.; and Garthe, Rachel C., "Identification of Patterns of Dating Aggression and Victimization Among Urban Early Adolescents and Their Relations to Mental Health Symptoms" (2017). Psychology Faculty Publications. 37.