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J Adolesc Health. 1997 Nov;21(5):291-302.

Community and dating violence among adolescents: perpetration and victimization.

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UCLA School of Public Health 90095-1772, USA.



Adolescents are both the perpetrators and victims of violence in the United States. To reduce violence, it is important to identify those most at risk within particular contexts.


A social learning framework was used to investigate involvement in violence in a survey of 719 high school students. Four outcomes (community violence perpetration, community violence victimization, dating violence perpetration, and dating violence victimization) were examined as a function of demographic characteristics, exposure to violence, and several potential mediating variables.


Exposure to weapons and violent injury in the community was the sole consistent predictor across the four outcomes. Gender generally was an important correlate of violence; there were substantial gender differences in the correlates of dating violence perpetration and victimization, but relatively few gender differences in the correlates of community violence involvement. Other demographic characteristics typically were of limited importance, and were largely accounted for by exposure to violence or other mediators. Personal norms about the circumstances under which the use of violence is perceived as justified were important for three of the four outcome: community violence perpetration, and dating violence perpetration and victimization.


Being exposed to violence in one context appears to have crossover effects to victimization and perpetration in another context. Furthermore, victimization and perpetration often co-occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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