A new study finds teen dating violence cuts both ways, with 1 in 6 girls and guys reporting to have been aggressors, victims or both.
The startling number, drawn from a University of Michigan Medical School survey of more than 4,000 adolescent patients ages 14 to 20 seeking emergency care, indicates that dating violence is common and affects both genders.
Probing deeper, the study finds that those with depression, or a history of using drugs or alcohol, have a higher likelihood to act as the aggressor or victim.
The findings, from the largest-ever study of the issue in a health care setting, suggests a need for health care providers to ask both young women and men about whether their relationships have ever turned violent, and to guide them to resources. The results were published online in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.
“It’s important to think about both genders when trying to identify teen dating violence, especially when there are other conditions we may be trying to assess in the health care setting,” says Vijay Singh, M.D., MPH, MS, the study’s lead author and a U-M clinical lecturer in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine.
In all, 1 in 5 young women said they had been the victim or aggressor in a violent situation in the last year with a romantic partner, and 1 in 8 young men reported the same, suggesting that Emergency Departments can aid in identifying dating violence.
Source: University of Michigan Health System