Adolescent dating violence (ADV) is significantly widespread with both short term and long term severe impacts. Many teenagers fail to report this violence due to the fear. It is said that about 2-9% of male and 4-20% of female teens have at one point experienced sexual or physical abuse from their partner in the US. ADV is linked to health compromises and particularly drugs and alcohol usage or both. ADV is also associated with eating disorders, anxiety and depression, low self-esteem, sexual risks and suicidal attempts among the adolescents. Many studies have been done to address ADV but face a limitation of determining the causal relationship between the variables or establishment of temporality. Few of the researchers have devoted into investigating the long-term impact of Adolescent dating violence. A study was done on female college students aimed at identifying the sexual victimization resulting from ADV. The weakness of the research was that it did not investigate on men and again did not consider physical violence. In another study that aimed at finding out the physical victimization caused by a partner, the long-term effect of the violence was not put into consideration. Therefore, this necessitated the need of finding out the long-term impact of ADV on psychological health and the individual’s behavior and examination of ADV long term impact on an individual’s health.

Methodology of Study

  1. Study Design and Setting

In this study done by Diann et al., data was obtained from EAT project. The study sought to address the epidemiological factors of the study subjects. In this case, the data on weight- associated factors with two waves was collected with 5 years apart in adolescents. Also, the eating behaviors of the adolescents were researched. The first wave was done in 1999 and the second one in 2004. The average age of the teens was 20.4 years with a corresponding standard deviation of 0.8. The EAT project participants came from the urban and suburb high schools and public middle. The area of study was Minnesota.

  1. Participants

The participants were diverse in their races, ages, the socioeconomic status, and body mass index. During the first wave of the study, there was the completion of the Project EAT study. Anthropometric weight and height measures were noted. An 81.5% was the reported response rate of the participants in the wave 1. After completing the first wave of the study; information consent was obtained, and possible revisions were done for wave 2 approval. Some factors were added to the second wave to help in exploring interest issues in the adolescents who were quite older and among the factors were prone to violence from a dating partner. The collection of data from wave 2 was between the periods of April 2003 – June 2004. 561 participants who translated to 18.2% were lost from the first wave. The remaining 2513 were used for the study in the wave 2. 1516 of these participants were youth comprising of 54% females and 46% male. They competed for questions on ADV. There was an assessment of ethical background of the participants to help in the adequate analysis due to variation in some outcome interests across different ethics.

Measures

Evaluation of ADV was based on two questions. The first one sought to answer any physical violence encountered by the participants while the second attempted to answer the sexual violence. There was a combination of the sexual and physical violence as some of the cells were reported to be smaller for separation of the analysis. The participants who had responded yes to both for sexual and physical abuse were excluded from further analysis of ascertaining the occurrence ADV before the second wave dependent variables. The participants were questioned of their extreme weight-controlling behaviors, pills taking and it they had encountered any vomiting experience. Also, they were asked if they had taken diuretics and laxatives water pills. The participants who reported at least to have used one were considered to be users of extreme weight-controlling behaviors. In the evaluation of binge eating among the participants, they answered a close ended question on whether they had at one point eaten a lot of food in a short time. Also the questions on suicidal thoughts, the participants were asked if they had ever thought of killing themselves.

The outcomes of the wave 2 study were tabled. Measurement of substance abuse was done using the 5 point scale and they were asked to mark the frequency of using the drugs. Assessment of the body dissatisfaction was done with Pingitore’s scale. It involved evaluation of 10 body parts combination as a mean composite score with high scores translating to greater body satisfaction. On the other hand, the individual’s self-esteem was measured using Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale with 6 items.  The internal reliability estimate of the scale was 0.83 during the second wave ranging from 6-24. From this, higher self-esteem was shown by high scores. The depressive symptoms were evaluated using Davies20 and Kandel scales. The scale range was 6-18 with high scores indicating severe moods of depression.

xData analysis

Chi-square measure of associations was utilized in the comparison of the wave 2 prevalence of psychological and behavioral health risks in the adolescents. Estimation of the Logistic regression model was done, and the corresponding odds for every youth behavior with ADV against those without ADV were found. The control of wave 1 relevant behavior reported was crucial for the prediction of uptake or worsening of behavior after the experience with ADV. In all the analysis, there was a stratification of the test variables by sex and SAS software was used in the analysis.

Results

In the study, it was reported that 102 females and 23 males’ participants indicated ADV greater than in the previous year. No significant variations were observed in ADV by socio-economic status and race. Wave I analysis adjustment outcome was that more females and males who reported more cigarette smoking at the second wave and attempted suicide in the previous year were more in ADV participants than in those with no ADV. Besides, ADV was found to have a fundamental association with suicidal ideation and binge eating mainly in male participants. It was also found that marijuana smoking was prevalence in ADV participants and higher depressive symptoms reported among females. Furthermore, it was indicated that in the whole sample 31.6% female respondents and 14.7% male respondents were grouped as highly susceptible to the 3 of the 10 behavioral conditions evaluated. On the other hand, ADV was reported to be related to higher risk status of the female and male respondents in a bivariate analysis. In this regard 50.0% females and 30.4% males who were found to have experienced ADV were susceptible to three health risk factors as oppose to 27.4% and 13.1% of those without ADV. After wave one adjustment for high-risk status, the relationship of ADV and high risk at the second wave remained to be statistically significant in females participants, but it was not in male respondents.

Discussion

The study reported that ADV is a non-specific risk factor for both psychological and behavioral health hazards. The findings were consistent with numerous cross-sectional researches which indicate that individuals with ADV also show multiple health symptoms. Thus the evaluation, however, is built on the extant literature of cross-sectional analysis by the utilization of data from wave 2 longitudinal research. Hence providing an allowance for the adjustment of the outcome measures during wave 1 in the determination of whether there was worsening or proceeding of ADV health risks.  The study illustrated vicious perpetuations of the psychological behaviors and violence which reciprocate to maintain themselves. Besides, the study added to the extant literature of developmental index in the calculation of the nonspecific dangers placed in youths. The calculated index increases the usefulness of the clinic concerning the findings as there is provision of opportunity to the individuals that have encountered ADV to be not “typecast” with the probability of developing a certain complication. Also for people struggling with a certain challenge, assumptions should not be made that they are subject to historical abuse.

The implications of this study are that ADV is reported to have an impact on the health of an individual.  It increases the risk of developing complications, and this raises concerns. Persons who are in the youth caring roles have to be screened for serious dating situation. It is recommended that ways of screening dating situations that are abusive in the teenagers and the practices of screening have to be designed in the quest for higher disclosure levels. Additionally, while the selection process is done, the confidentiality, safety and the security of the subjects is paramount. This will lead to lower levels of the health risks. Many of the adolescents do not seek help. It is reported that only 44% female and 32% male who encounter ADV find assistance while the rest keep it o themselves. It is vital for them to try and contribute to the reduction of the health risks that result from ADV. The study findings indicated that there is a relationship between ADV and the diverse problematic behaviors. Also it was related to the psychological health of the individuals and hence the study pointed out the need of addressing ADV among the adolescents. Interventions directed towards ADV and its impact on individuals has to be instituted.

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