• May 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 4

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How Peers Affect Teen Dating Violence

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice published a research brief examining the risk and protective factors associated with teen dating violence. The brief explores this topic through the lens of the emerging idea that "Peers and the contexts in which peers interact can contribute to their risk for and protection against dating violence." Child welfare and related professionals might be interested to know that teens exposed to risky family and social environments are at greater risk for dating violence victimization or perpetration. Overarching research questions in this brief include:

  • Do risky peer contexts increase the likelihood that teens will experience dating violence?
  • What roles do peers play in seeking help after teens experience violence?
  • Can group interventions or those focused on social contexts reduce the risk for teen dating violence?

This research brief also evaluates the influence of technology on dating or interpersonal violence, as well as current prevention programs. Community-based interventions have been particularly effective at reducing the risk of dating violence among at-risk youth, and the brief discusses a study focused on community-based group interventions for teen girls involved in child welfare. Implications and key future research questions are also addressed.

Access Teen Dating Violence: How Peers Can Affect Risk and Protective Factors, by B. Oudekerk, D. Blachman Demner, and C. Mulford, at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/248337.pdf (414 KB).

The findings discussed in this report are also found in the National Institute of Justice Office of Research and Evaluation's Crime, Violence & Victimization Research Division's Compendium of Research on Violence Against Women 1993–2013, available at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/223572/223572.pdf (2 MB).

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