To determine the longitudinal association between teen dating violence victimization and selected adverse health outcomes.
Secondary analysis of Waves 1 (1994–1995), 2 (1996), and 3 (2001–2002) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative sample of US high schools and middle schools. Participants were 5681 12- to 18-year-old adolescents who reported heterosexual dating experiences at Wave 2. These participants were followed-up ∼5 years later (Wave 3) when they were aged 18 to 25. Physical and psychological dating violence victimization was assessed at Wave 2. Outcome measures were reported at Wave 3, and included depressive symptomatology, self-esteem, antisocial behaviors, sexual risk behaviors, extreme weight control behaviors, suicidal ideation and attempt, substance use (smoking, heavy episodic drinking, marijuana, other drugs), and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. Data were analyzed by using multivariate linear and logistic regression models.
Compared with participants reporting no teen dating violence victimization at Wave 2, female participants experiencing victimization reported increased heavy episodic drinking, depressive symptomatology, suicidal ideation, smoking, and IPV victimization at Wave 3, whereas male participants experiencing victimization reported increased antisocial behaviors, suicidal ideation, marijuana use, and IPV victimization at Wave 3, controlling for sociodemographics, child maltreatment, and pubertal status.
The results from the present analyses suggest that dating violence experienced during adolescence is related to adverse health outcomes in young adulthood. Findings from this study emphasize the importance of screening and offering secondary prevention programs to both male and female victims.