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Teen Dating Violence

Literature Review: A product of the Model Programs Guide
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During adolescence, many youths enter their first romantic relationship (Goncy, Farrell, and Sullivan, 2016; Scott et al., 2011; East and Hokoda, 2014). In some of these romantic relationships, adolescents may experience teen dating violence, as either a perpetrator or a victim—and many as both (Basile et al., 2020; Taylor and Mumford, 2016; Ybarra et al., 2016). Such abuse or victimization can have significant impacts on many facets of a young person’s life, with long-term consequences that may last past the end of the relationships and well into their adulthood (Mendoza and Mulford, 2018; Scott et al., 2011; Exner–Cortens, Eckenrode, and Rothman, 2013).

Dating violence is a complex issue that includes a variety of abusive behaviors. In the past, dating violence research focused primarily on college-age or young adults; however, there has been a steady increase in dating violence research on adolescent relationships (Bonache, Gonzalez–Mendez, and Krahe, 2017; Datta, Cornell, and Konold, 2020; Hamby, Finkelhor, and Turner, 2012).

This literature review will discuss research surrounding teen dating violence, including definitions of different types of dating violence, the scope of the problem, risk and protective factors related to perpetration and victimization, short- and long-term consequences, and outcome evidence of programs that seek to prevent or reduce the occurrence of teen dating violence. This review focuses on dating violence that occurs between adolescents in middle and high school (primarily youth ages 12 to 18). The terms teens, youths, and adolescents are used interchangeably throughout the review.


Last Update: January 2022