Substance Use and Disparities in Teen Dating Violence Victimization by Sexual Identity Among High School Students.Prev Sci. 2020 04; 21(3):398-407.PS
Sexual minority youth (SMY) report more substance use and experience more physical and sexual dating violence victimization than heterosexual youth; however, few studies have explored the relationship between substance use and disparities in teen dating violence and victimization (TDVV) using national-level estimates, and examined if these relationships vary by sexual minority subgroups. Data from the nationally representative 2015 and 2017 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys were used to examine differences in TDVV and substance use by sexual identity, and to determine if substance use was associated with TDVV disparities between SMY and heterosexual high school students who dated 12 months prior to the survey (n = 18,704). Sex-stratified logistic regression models generated prevalence ratios adjusted for demographic characteristics and substance use behaviors to determine if substance use mediated the relationship between sexual identity and TDVV. Compared with their heterosexual peers, SMY experienced higher rates of TDVV and were more likely to report using most types of substances, although differences were more pronounced among female students compared with male students. Disparities in TDVV were reduced for male gay and bisexual students as well as for female bisexual students once substance use was entered into the model, suggesting that there is a relationship between substance use and some of gay and bisexual students' risk for experiences of TDVV. Comprehensive efforts for violence prevention among sexual minority students may benefit from incorporating substance use prevention, given its relationship to disparities in TDVV.