The lead author of the study, Deinera Exner-Cortens, told USA Today that more research is necessary to determine how aggression functions in teen relationships and why intimate partner violence impacts teen girls and boys differently.
For many victims, these types of assaults are not being reported because the victims are not recognizing them as assaults but, instead, are perceiving them as part of normal cultural mores.
According to two sources, Love Is Respect.org, a website specifically geared toward teens and young adults and a program of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), one in three adolescents in the United States is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
“They grab you, touch your butt and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away, but it’s OK, I mean…
I never think it’s a big thing because they do it to everyone.” This is how Patricia, 13, refers to boys in her school.
As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences.
Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year about one in 11 teens report being a victim of physical abuse – and one in five teens report being a victim of emotional abuse.Physical abuse includes behaviors such as shoving, pushing, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking and grabbing.The data did not specifically address why many of the negative outcomes were different for boys and girls, or explain the conditions that led to revictimization, says Deinera Exner-Cortens, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Cornell University."We know that girls are more likely to experience more severe physical violence, sexual violence and injury, and they report more fear around their aggressive dating experiences," she says."We need more research to better understand how aggression functions in teen dating relationships."Healthy romantic relationships "are a very important developmental experience for teens," she adds.For some young people, these are healthy and loving relationships that offer excellent opportunities to explore their beliefs and values about relationships.