Purpose This research examined whether experiencing physical teen dating violence (TDV) relates to trauma symptoms, which in turn, predict future physical dating violence victimization in early adulthood. Methods Adolescents (N = 843) recruited from high schools reported on their experiences of physical TDV victimization and trauma symptoms. The sample was followed over a 5-year period to assess for revictimization in early adulthood. Results Trauma symptoms functioned as a mediator between experiences of physical TDV victimization during adolescence and later revictimization in early adulthood, even in a conservative test of mediation that controlled for baseline trauma symptoms. Multigroup analyses testing for gender differences suggest that this mediation model is significant for females but not for males. Conclusions The present findings suggest that the mental health consequences of experiencing physical TDV are an important factor contributing to future victimization in early adulthood. This holds potentially important implications for school-based efforts for reducing physical TDV. Specifically, school-based efforts to reduce victimization may be enhanced by supplementing existing efforts with empirically supported programs for addressing trauma symptoms.
- Dating violence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health