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22-02-2016 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 4/2016

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2016

From Violence in the Home to Physical Dating Violence Victimization: The Mediating Role of Psychological Distress in a Prospective Study of Female Adolescents

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2016
Michele Cascardi


Symptoms of psychological distress may be one pathway through which child maltreatment and witnessing violence in the home relate to dating violence victimization. This study examined whether psychological distress in mid-adolescence mediated the link between child maltreatment and witnessing violence in early adolescence and dating violence victimization in young adulthood. The sample included female participants (N = 532) from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well Being who were 18 years or older in the fifth and final wave of data collection. At the time of entry into the study, participants were 12.81 (SD = 1.23) years old. Sixteen percent of participants identified as Hispanic; 53 % identified their race as White, 33 % as Black, and 11 % as American Indian. Results showed that psychological distress may play a causal role in the relationship of violence in the home to dating violence victimization. Interventions targeting psychological distress, particularly in samples at risk for child maltreatment, may reduce the risk of dating violence victimization.

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