Teen Dating Violence (TDV) is a complex and widespread phenomenon that manifests itself in different types of behaviours such as physical violence, psychological violence, sexual violence, digital violence and stalking.
However, there is no universal definition of TDV and such behaviours are defined with a mixed range of terms (adolescent dating violence, relationship abuse, intimate partner violence, dating abuse, etc). This lack of a clear and uniform definition is one of the factors contributing to the delay of policymakers and lawmakers to tackle TDV as a significant public issue.
TDV has long-term consequences and it increases both health and behavioural/psychological risk in youth, particularly in female adolescents. For females, this includes an increase in cigarette smoking, binge eating, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation. While for males, it is significantly associated with cigarette smoking, marijuana use, depressive symptoms and suicide attempts.
Both groups also show TDV as determining lower grades, low self-efficacy, low school connectedness and low community involvement, higher peer aggression, higher delinquency, and increased unprotected sex. There could also be an evolving progression from dating violence to the establishment of violent partnership in adulthood, with intimate partner violence being more likely to occur when the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
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