Predicting Teen Dating Violence Perpetration.Pediatrics. 2018 04; 141(4)Ped
With our study we aimed to (1) understand what factors uniquely conferred risk for physical and sexual forms of teen dating violence (TDV) perpetration and (2) create a screening algorithm to quantify perpetration risk on the basis of these factors.
A total of 1031 diverse public high school students living in Southeast Texas participated in our study (56% female; 29% African American, 28% white, and 31% Hispanic). Self-report measures concerning TDV and associated risk factors were completed annually for 6 years.
Results suggested that family violence (domestic violence exposure, maltreatment) together with deficits in conflict resolution incrementally improved our forecasts above and beyond lifetime history of physical TDV perpetration (net reclassification improvement = 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30-0.59). Meanwhile, a violent dating history (TDV sexual perpetration, sexual victimization, and emotional perpetration) and acceptance of TDV incrementally improved our models for forecasting sexual forms of perpetration (net reclassification improvement = 0.41; 95% CI = 0.24-0.58). These models adequately discriminated between future perpetrators and nonoffenders (area under the curve statistic >0.70; 95% CI: 0.69-0.74). Overall, adolescents with positive test results on our algorithms were over twice as likely to perpetrate dating violence over the course of 6 years.
Our study represents one of the first applications of reclassification analyses to psychosocial research in a pediatric population. The result is a theoretically informed, empirically based algorithm that can adequately estimate the likelihood of physical and sexual TDV perpetration during vulnerable developmental periods. These findings can immediately aid emerging preventive initiatives for this increasing public health concern.