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J Interpers Violence. 2015 Aug 27. pii: 0886260515600877. [Epub ahead of print]

Out in the Open: The Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence for Victims in Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Relationships.

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University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX, USA
Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem in the United States. While our understanding of this form of violence has grown substantially over the past several decades, the majority of research involving victims of IPV has focused almost exclusively on female heterosexual victims. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to how this form of violence affects specific populations, such as gay and lesbian victims. It is possible that gay and lesbian victims may experience more maladaptive outcomes as a result of unique components of same-sex IPV, their sexual minority status in American society, and the lack of appropriate services tailored to victims of this violence. Using data from the second wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study contributes to the research on gay and lesbian victims of IPV by investigating same-sex and opposite-sex adolescent victims' experiences with depression, alcohol-related problems, marijuana use, violent delinquency, and property delinquency. Results indicate that opposite-sex victims experienced more depressive symptoms, alcohol problems, and marijuana use than non-victims and engaged in higher levels of violent and property delinquency than non-victims. IPV within the context of same-sex relationships led to more depressive symptoms and greater involvement in violent delinquency, with the impact of IPV on violent delinquency being greater for victims of same-sex IPV compared with opposite-sex IPV. The implications of this study could inform interventions for victims of same-sex IPV and lead to more comprehensive services to address the needs of gay and lesbian victims of this violence.


consequences of intimate partner violence; domestic violence; intimate partner violence; lesbian/gay/bisexual; same-sex


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