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Women Health. 2008;47(3):1-22. doi: 10.1080/03630240802132286.

Contextual factors and health risk behaviors associated with date fighting among high school students.

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Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Department of Social Science and Health Policy, 2000 West First Street, Piedmont Plaza II, Suite 284, Winston-Salem, NC 27104, USA.


Over 2,000 North Carolina high school students completed surveys measuring community risk and protective factors and individual health risk behaviors including dating violence perpetration and victimization. Females reported more date fighting perpetration than males (8.8% to 4.0%), as well as greater levels of date fighting victimization (7.2% and 5.0%). In multivariate models, factors associated with date fighting perpetration among females and males included riding with a drinking driver. Neighborhood organization was protective for both groups. Cigarette use, drinking and driving, and being a minority were also associated with perpetration among females, while tobacco use was associated with date fighting perpetration by males. Factors associated with victimization among both genders included riding with a drinking driver. Females were more likely to be victimized if they used marijuana, whereas males were less likely to be a victim of date fighting if they perceived their community to be "organized." Findings reflect comparable individual risk factors for date fighting across genders, with few exceptions, and warrant further investigation of the role of community assets in protecting young people from dating violence.

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