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J Adolesc Health. 2011 Aug;49(2):216-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.05.005. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

The proportion of U.S. parents who talk with their adolescent children about dating abuse.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA.



To estimate the proportion of U.S. parents who talked about dating abuse (DA) with their adolescent children in the past year, and explore reasons among those who did not.


Five hundred parents of 11-18 year-old-children were assessed through a national online survey.


Fifty-five percent of parents had discussed DA with their children in the past year. Mothers were more likely than fathers to discuss DA with both male and female children (59.0% vs. 50.2%, p < .05). Parents' age, income, and region of the United States were not related to having discussed DA. However, DA was substantially less likely to be discussed than school work, drugs, alcohol, family finances, the economy, money management, dating relationships in general, and sex. Parents who did not discuss DA reported that their children were not dating, that they were too young, that their children would learn about it through experience, that they would not know what to say, or that it was too embarrassing to discuss.


Programs that equip parents to talk with children about DA are needed.

Copyright © 2011 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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