Protective factors against dating violence


06-Jul-2017 23:03

Teen dating violence appears to parallel violence in adult relationships in that it exists on a continuum ranging from verbal abuse to rape and murder (Sousa, 1999).Teen victims may be especially vulnerable due to their inexperience in dating relationships, their susceptibility to peer pressure and their reluctance to tell an adult about the abuse (Cohall, 1999).Risk factors have been defined as "attributes or characteristics that are associated with an increased probability of [its] reception and/or expression" (Hotaling & Sugarman, 1990 p. Risk factors are correlates of dating violence and not necessarily causative factors.Thus, they may have implications for prevention program, but they may also be outcomes that have implications for treatment.A number of school based programs focusing on reducing violence in teen dating relationships and promoting healthy respectful relationships show promising results.The majority of these programs have focused on increasing students' awareness and knowledge about dating violence, changing attitudes and norms that condone violence, and building conflict resolution and communication skills.There is considerable controversy regarding whether violence in teen dating relationships involves mutual aggression and indeed several studies report higher rates of inflicting violence for females (Foshee, 1996; Gray & Foshee, 1997; O'Keefe, 1997).Fundamental problems exist, however, in asserting gender parity regarding relationship violence.

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During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others, and it is therefore an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of teen dating violence that can last into adulthood.

Most obvious is the greater physical harm that can be inflicted by male violence due to males' often greater size and strength.