Category: Violence / Aggression
Keywords: Intimate Partner Aggression | Couples / Close Relationships | Adolescents
Presentation Type: Symposium
Background: Adolescence and emerging adulthood represent a period of elevated risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). This risk is elevated in youth with a history of conduct problems, who tend to selectively partner with deviant, aggressive peers and romantic or sexual partners. In a sample of youth at familial risk for conduct problems, this study aimed to examine whether beliefs systems justifying the use of coercive tactics by males and females is associated with deviant partner behavior, beliefs about sexual behavior, and involvement in IPV.
Method: Ninety-nine urban, diverse preschoolers at familial risk for conduct problems were recruited for a family-based intervention study, and were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Ten years later, 45 preschoolers and 43 of their siblings completed an assessment of their romantic relationships, including measures of dating behaviors, beliefs about coercive conflict tactics and sexual behavior, and IPV. The study focuses on the 54 females, including targets (n = 27) and siblings (n = 27) who participated in this 10-year follow-up (M age = 16.5, SD = 5.2, range = 10-28).
Results: Regression analyses, controlling for age suggest that: 1) Beliefs justifying males’ and females’ use of coercive control in dating relationships were highly correlated; 2) Girls’ justification of coercive control by male partners was associated with girls’ IPV victimization, but not with their IPV perpetration; 3) Girls’ justification of coercive behavior by female dating partners was associated with both IPV victimization and perpetration risk, and with deviant partner behavior, beliefs promotive of early sexual activity, and decreased odds of retaliation if victimized by a partner.
Friday, November 17
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
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