Patterns of Dating Violence Victimization and Perpetration among Latino Youth.J Youth Adolesc. 2017 08; 46(8):1727-1742.JY
Theory and research suggest that there may be significant heterogeneity in the development, manifestation, and consequences of adolescent dating violence that is not yet well understood. The current study contributed to our understanding of this heterogeneity by identifying distinct patterns of involvement in psychological, physical, and sexual dating violence victimization and perpetration in a sample of Latino youth (n = 201; M = 13.87 years; 42% male), a group that is understudied, growing, and at high risk for involvement in dating violence. Among both boys and girls, latent class analyses identified a three-class solution wherein the largest class demonstrated a low probability of involvement in dating violence across all indices ("uninvolved"; 56% of boys, 64% of girls) and the smallest class demonstrated high probability of involvement in all forms of dating violence except for sexual perpetration among girls and physical perpetration among boys ("multiform aggressive victims"; 10% of boys, 11% of girls). A third class of "psychologically aggressive victims" was identified for which there was a high probability of engaging and experiencing psychological dating violence, but low likelihood of involvement in physical or sexual dating violence (34% of boys, 24% of girls). Cultural (parent acculturation, acculturation conflict), family (conflict and cohesion) and individual (normative beliefs, conflict resolution skills, self-control) risk and protective factors were associated with class membership. Membership in the multiform vs. the uninvolved class was concurrently associated with emotional distress among girls and predicted emotional distress longitudinally among boys. The results contribute to understanding heterogeneity in patterns of involvement in dating violence among Latino youth that may reflect distinct etiological processes.