Childhood physical abuse and physical dating violence in young adulthood: The mediating role of adverse mental health

Yu Lu, Ryan C. Shorey, Christopher S. Greeley, Jeffrey Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine whether adverse mental health (i.e., symptoms of anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression) mediated the relation between childhood physical abuse (CPA) and physical dating violence (DV) victimization/perpetration in young adulthood. METHOD: We used four waves of data from an ongoing longitudinal study. The sample consisted of 864 adolescents including 282 Hispanic Americans, 248 European Americans, 240 African Americans, and 94 other, with a mean age of 17 years at Wave 3. RESULTS: Structural equation modeling suggested that posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms mediated the link between CPA and both physical DV victimization (β = .06, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.11) and perpetration (β = .07, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.13). Anxiety and depressive symptoms, however, did not show significant indirect effects. CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the importance of interventions targeting posttraumatic stress symptoms for adolescents who experienced CPA in preventing physical DV in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1916-1929
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019



  • adverse mental health
  • childhood physical abuse
  • physical dating violence
  • victimization
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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