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Dating violence and suicidal behavior in adolescents

  • Kristin Holmes EMAIL logo and Leo Sher


The aim of this paper is to assess the possible consequences of adolescent physical, emotional and sexual dating violence through a review of the literature on the topic. An electronic search of major biomedical bibliographic databases (Pubmed, ISI, PsycINFO) was used to retrieve articles providing information on the prevalence rates, risk factors, associated consequences and possible preventive measures for adolescent dating violence across different populations. Currently, there have been few longitudinal studies conducted to identify potential risk factors for entering a violent dating relationship in adolescence. Risky behaviors such as early sexual intercourse may predispose someone for victimization. Dating violence itself is also a predictor of future dating violence. Adolescent dating violence was associated with an increase in other violence-related behaviors, substance use, depression, poorer educational outcomes, posttraumatic stress, unhealthy weight control and risky sexual behavior. The association between adolescent dating violence and an increase in suicidal behavior is a major public health concern. Future research should focus on longitudinal studies so that a causal relationship between dating violence and suicidality may be better understood.

Corresponding author: Kristin Holmes, MA, James J. Peters Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, 130 W. Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10468, USA


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Received: 2012-8-15
Accepted: 2012-10-2
Published Online: 2013-09-04
Published in Print: 2013-09-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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