Effects of teenage dating violence

The one factor that has consistently been associated with being the victim of dating violence, particularly for males, is inflicting dating violence (O'Keefe, 1997).There is considerable controversy regarding whether violence in teen dating relationships involves mutual aggression and indeed several studies report higher rates of inflicting violence for females (Foshee, 1996; Gray & Foshee, 1997; O'Keefe, 1997).Parents everywhere tend to experience a twinge of angst when their adolescents begin dating.Unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, dating violence and date rape can be sources of worry.Having spent more than a decade working with victims of sexual and domestic violence, she specializes in writing about women's issues, with emphasis on families and relationships.Violence in teen dating relationships is alarmingly commonplace.Similarly, those same relationships and partner choices influence the development of identity as well as other components of the self-concept."According to Manning et al, "Adolescence is an exploratory stage where important skills and experience are obtained while dating which help teens to navigate later life relationships." Incidents of conflict and breaking up, for instance, are experiences for adolescents to endure and learn from.

Clearly the prevention of dating violence requires a commitment (both financial and otherwise) with the goal of establishing a consistent, coordinated, and integrated approach in every school and community.Teen years are formative ones, and dating gives adolescents insight into who they are.They learn about some of their own boundaries, such as what feels acceptable and what doesn't, what they do and do not like and what attracts them most.Further research is needed to enhance our understanding of adolescent dating violence including the nature of conflicts, as well as the meaning, context, intent, and consequences of the violence and the role of gender.A number of school based programs focusing on reducing violence in teen dating relationships and promoting healthy respectful relationships show promising results.

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The majority of these programs have focused on increasing students' awareness and knowledge about dating violence, changing attitudes and norms that condone violence, and building conflict resolution and communication skills.

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