The objectives of this study is to examine dating violence perpetration and victimization (physical, psychological, and sexual) and lifetime substance use (alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs) as longitudinal predictors of adolescents’ risky sexual behavior across 1 year and to determine whether predictors varied across adolescents’ gender and ethnicity. A sample of Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic male and female adolescents from seven public high schools in Texas (N = 882) participated. Adolescents completed self-report measures of dating violence, lifetime substance use, and risky sexual behavior at baseline and, 1-year later, completed a second assessment of their risky sexual behavior. Path analysis demonstrated that greater physical dating violence victimization, lifetime alcohol use, lifetime marijuana use, and age (being older) were all significant predictors of risky sexual behavior at the 1-year follow-up. These results did not vary across gender or the three ethnic groups (Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic). Overall, substance use was a longitudinal predictor of risky sexual behavior across the three ethnic groups, with physical dating violence victimization being the only type of dating violence longitudinally predicting risky sexual behavior. Prevention efforts should consider the roles of physical dating violence and substance use in preventing risky sexual behavior.
- Dating violence
- Risky sexual behavior
- Substance use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health