Findings highlight the powerful influence of perceived social support among adolescent targets of physical violence and emotional abuse in dating relationships.
********** Dating violence is a pervasive form of victimization within our society, and has been linked to deleterious outcomes including depression, anxiety, and physical injury (Carlson, 1987; De Keseredy & Schwartz, 1994).
For an action to be considered violent, it needs a victim or a group of victims.
The interpersonal nature of violence seems to call for explanations or understandings that also are interpersonal.
Victimization in dating relationships was examined among 681 African American and Caucasian adolescents.
Specifically, perceived social support was evaluated as a moderator between (a) physical dating violence victimization and anxiety/depression and (b) emotional abuse in dating relationships and anxiety/depression.
This article presents a social perspective on violence that calls attention to the meanings of violence and to other social factors that promote and support or, alternatively, oppose and restrict violence.
Conflicting information exists with respect to differences in dating violence rates by sex and race.
In a study of ethnically diverse high school students, the rate of physical dating violence victimization did not differ for males and females (Malik, Sorenson, & Aneshensel, 1997).
Additional research is necessary given that adolescence is a developmentally important time period in which negative repercussions of violence might have lasting detrimental effects.
In particular, exploring moderating and mediating factors that might protect adolescent targets of violence is a critical step in helping youth achieve optimal development despite adversity (Becker, Barham, Eron, & Chen, 1994).
Estimates tend to be the highest when emotional abuse is considered to constitute dating violence (Bookwala, Frieze, Smith, & Ryan, 1992).