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Am J Public Health. 2001 Oct;91(10):1679-85.

Partner violence among adolescents in opposite-sex romantic relationships: findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

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  • 1Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400, USA. carolyn_halpern@unc.edu



This report examines (1) the prevalence of psychological and minor physical violence victimization in a nationally representative sample of adolescents and (2) associations between sociodemographic factors and victimization.


Analyses are based on 7500 adolescents who reported exclusively heterosexual romantic relationships in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Items from the Conflict Tactics Scale were used to measure victimization. Associations between victimization patterns and sociodemographic characteristics were assessed with polytomous logistic regression.


One third of adolescents reported some type of victimization, and 12% reported physical violence victimization. Although most sociodemographic characteristics were significantly associated with victimization, patterns varied by sex and type of victimization.


Psychological and minor physical violence victimization is common in opposite-sex romantic relationships during adolescence. The sex-specific associations between sociodemographic characteristics and patterns of partner violence victimization underscore the importance of pursuing longitudinal, theory-driven investigations of the characteristics and developmental histories of both partners in a couple to advance understanding of this public health problem.

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