Purpose of review: In this review we intend to examine recent literature on dating violence among female adolescents, including prevalence, risk factors, sequelae, screening practices, and potential interventions.
Recent findings: Dating violence is perpetrated by both males and females and occurs frequently within heterosexual dating relationships. Attitudes toward physical aggression, including those of peers, and abuse by siblings predict later violence as victim and perpetrator. Victims of childhood or dating violence may be at greater risk of developing eating disorders. New strategies and measures to promote screening are available.
Summary: Dating violence occurs among all groups of adolescents with common and unique risk factors for dating violence found across adolescents grouped by race/ethnicity, sex, and prior victimization. Efforts to decrease dating violence should (1) increase the use of screening tools that measure victimization as well as attitudes and contextual parameters that promote dating violence; (2) increase self-efficacy to negotiate safer sex; (3) reduce the use/abuse of alcohol and other drugs that facilitate dating violence; and (4) eliminate the influence of negative peer behavior. Interventions to prevent dating violence will likely also reduce rates of unintended pregnancies, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents.