Sexual Dating Aggression Across Grades 8 Through 12: Timing and Predictors of Onset.

Department of Health Behavior, CB#7440, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7440, USA, .
Journal of Youth and Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.72). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1007/s10964-012-9864-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Investigators have identified a number of factors that increase risk for physical and psychological dating abuse perpetration during adolescence, but as yet little is known about the etiology of sexual dating aggression during this critical developmental period. This is an important gap in the literature given that research suggests that patterns of sexual dating violence that are established during this period may carry over into young adulthood. Using a sample of 459 male adolescents (76 % White, 19 % Black), the current study used survival analysis to examine the timing and predictors of sexual dating aggression perpetration onset across grades 8 through 12. Risk for sexual dating aggression onset increased across early adolescence, peaked in the 10th grade, and desisted thereafter. As predicted based on the Confluence Model of sexual aggression, associations between early physical aggression towards peers and dates and sexual aggression onset were stronger for teens reporting higher levels of rape myth acceptance. Contrary to predictions, inter-parental violence, prior victimization experiences, and parental monitoring knowledge did not predict sexual dating aggression onset. Findings support the notion that risk factors may work synergistically to predict sexual dating aggression and highlight the importance of rape myth acceptance as a construct that should be addressed by violence prevention programs.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research has identified links between dating and aversive behavior such as aggression and bullying in adolescence, highlighting the need for studies that further our understanding of romantic relationships and their dynamics during this period. This study tested the associations between dating popularity and overt and relational aggression, social preference, and peer popularity. Of particular interest were the moderating roles of social preference and peer popularity in the association of aggression with dating popularity. Further moderation by gender was also explored. Participants were 478 ninth-graders (48 % girls) with peer nomination scores for peer status, aggression, and dating popularity. Dating popularity was positively correlated with popularity, social preference, and overt and relational aggression. Regression models indicated that popular, overtly aggressive girls were seen as desirable dating partners by their male peers. Relational aggression was associated with dating popularity for both boys and girls, especially for youths who were well-liked by peers. These findings are interpreted in light of developmental-contextual perspectives on adolescent romantic relationships and Resource Control Theory.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2014; 44(3). DOI:10.1007/s10964-014-0174-z · 2.72 Impact Factor