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CONTEXT: Preadolescent friendships and early teenage dating relationships have implications for adolescent sexual initiation that may differ by race and gender.

METHODS: Data on participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and their children are used to profile friendship and dating patterns among a sample of youth born to relatively young mothers.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescents is an important realm of study as, in addition to the usual negative effects of abuse, this violence occurs at a critical period in the social and mental development of a person.

This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.

AODVC serves American victims of teen dating violence in foreign countries and when they return to the US.

Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking.

By ages 15-16, 34% had had sexual intercourse; the proportion was significantly higher among blacks (45%) than among others (31%).

Most adolescents reported neither frequent dating nor a steady partner by ages 15-16, although the prevaleance of such reports was related to friendship patterns in late childhood.

Overall, youth whose mothers gave birth at young ages remain sexually inexperienced into middle adolescence, but certain subgroups are more likely than others to initiate early sexual activity.

Logistic regression analyses examine whether these patterns predict early sexual initiation, and whether there are differences associated with gender and race.

RESULTS: As youth moved from late childhood to midadolescence, they shifted from having almost exclusively same-sex, same-grade friends to having more relationships with persons who are of the opposite sex and older.

A 2011 CDC nationwide survey found that 23% of females and 14% of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.

A 2013 survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months before they were surveyed.

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