Adjusted Odds Ratios for Relationships Between Health Risk Behaviors and Lifetime Prevalence of Violence From Dating Partners Among Adolescent Girls Attending Massachusetts Public High Schools*Doyle JP, Frank E, Saltzman LE, Mc Mahon PM, Fielding BD.Domestic violence and sexual abuse in women physicians: associated medical, psychiatric, and professional difficulties.
Furthermore, sexual risks (ie, behaviors conferring vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections [STIs]) and pregnancy rates are disproportionately higher among US adolescents, compared with adolescents from other industrialized nations, despite similar levels of sexual activity and ages at the first sexual experience.
Intimate partner violence against women is a major public health concern.
Research among adults has shown that younger age is a consistent risk factor for experiencing and perpetrating intimate partner violence.
However, no representative epidemiologic studies of lifetime prevalence of dating violence among adolescents have been conducted.
After controlling for the effects of potentially confounding demographics and risk behaviors, data from both surveys indicate that physical and sexual dating violence against adolescent girls is associated with increased risk of substance use (eg, cocaine use for 1997, odds ratio [OR], 4.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3-9.6; for 1999, OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.7-6.7), unhealthy weight control behaviors (eg, use of laxatives and/or vomiting [for 1997, OR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.8-5.5; for 1999, OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.2-6.5]), sexual risk behaviors (eg, first intercourse before age 15 years [for 1997, OR, 8.2; 95% CI, 5.1-13.4; for 1999, OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4-4.2]), pregnancy (for 1997, OR, 6.3; 95% CI, 3.4-11.7; for 1999, OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.9-7.8), and suicidality (eg, attempted suicide [for 1997, OR, 7.6; 95% CI, 4.7-12.3; for 1999, OR, 8.6; 95% CI, 5.2-14.4]).
Dating violence is extremely prevalent among this population, and adolescent girls who report a history of experiencing dating violence are more likely to exhibit other serious health risk behaviors.
Among high school students who had ever been on a date, girls (25.9 %, 95 % CI 19.9–31.5) and boys (9.1 %, 95 % CI 5.8–12.4) with disabilities were more likely than girls (8.8 %, 95 % CI 6.8–10.8) and boys (4.5 %, 95 % CI 3.1–5.8) without disabilities to report dating violence.
Multivariate analyses indicated that high school girls with disabilities who experienced dating violence were more likely to report feeling sad or hopeless for 2 weeks or more in the past year, suicide ideation in the past 12 months, and drug use in the past 30 days compared to those with disabilities who did not report dating violence and those without disabilities who reported and did not report dating violence.
High school students with disabilities are at a greater risk for dating violence victimization compared to those without disabilities and high school girls with disabilities who experience dating violence are at increased risk for experiencing poor mental health outcomes and substance abuse.