Predictors of emotional and physical dating violence in a sample of serious juvenile offenders

Gary Sweeten, Matthew Larson, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: We estimate group-based dating violence trajectories and identify the adolescent risk factors that explain membership in each trajectory group. Method: Using longitudinal data from the Pathways to Desistance Study, which follows a sample of 1354 serious juvenile offenders from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Phoenix, Arizona between mid-adolescence and early adulthood, we estimate group-based trajectory models of both emotional dating violence and physical dating violence over a span of five years in young adulthood. We then estimate multinomial logistic regression models to identify theoretically motivated risk factors that predict membership in these groups. Results: We identified three developmental patterns of emotional dating violence: none (33%), low-level (59%) and high-level decreasing (8%). The best-fitting model for physical dating violence also had three groups: none (73%), low-level (24%) and high-level (3%). Race/ethnicity, family and psychosocial variables were among the strongest predictors of both emotional and physical dating violence. In addition, delinquency history variables predicted emotional dating violence and relationship variables predicted physical dating violence. Conclusions: Dating violence is quite prevalent in young adulthood among serious juvenile offenders. Numerous predictors distinguish between chronic dating violence perpetrators and other groups. These may suggest points of intervention for reducing future violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-277
Number of pages15
JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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